The FACES Foundation® (Family And Caregiver Education & Support) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Michigan. FACES was established in 2006 in memory of my husband, Philip C. Lamka. Phil died as a result of complications from an Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD). ILD is a broad category of lung diseases characterized by scarring and/or inflammation of the lungs.
Phil courageously dealt with the disease for three years. In the beginning, a backpack of oxygen helped him golf, socialize with friends and manage everyday activities. As the disease progressed and debilitated him physically, the only treatment would have been a lung transplant. He was too sick to undergo the procedure.
In the final weeks of his life, I needed to bring some meaning to our profound sadness. I told Phil that I wanted to start a foundation. He warmly agreed; we both knew that our experiences had the potential to give hope to patients and their loved ones who are facing life-threatening lung diseases. As is the case for all patients with serious lung disease, the challenge for us was to help Phil breathe easier. With that central to my thinking, The FACES Foundation took focus.
FACES reflects, acknowledges and advocates for the many ‘faces’ of those living with pulmonary illnesses: the patients, their support network of close family and friends, and those unsung heroes in the respiratory profession who understand that each breath matters.
Sharman Lamka, President & Co-Founder