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The Bruce Jenner Interview (Page 2 of 3)
An Interview with Bruce Jenner
BJ: Coughing, chronic coughing,
coughing up a lot of mucous, shortness
of breath when you do normal daily
activities where a few years ago, you
would not even notice your breathing.
Now all of a sudden, you notice that you
are breathing hard. You walk up
the stairs and you are having a hard
time getting your breath.
Obviously, you are at risk if you smoke
or have been smoking for a long period
of time, or maybe have the disease in
your family. It also depends on what
type of working conditions you have, how
good the air quality has been throughout
your life, things like that. You
just have to be aware, because most
people do not realize they have it until
the latter stages and then it is harder
GB: What kind of
reaction have you had from people on the
BJ: I had people with
oxygen masks come up and stand in line
saying thank you for building up the
awareness for this. What I was
also trying to do is encourage young
people who are really not at risk to
listen to their parents and if
they are coughing away, to put the test
in front of them. See how they
score and, depending on how they score,
maybe go see a specialist and get
checked out. So, even young people
who are not at risk as much can really
do something about this, too.
It seems like you got a lot of
appreciation for what you have been
BJ: Yes. The response
has been just phenomenally good.
You know, COPD is the fourth leading
cause of death in the United States.
One person every four minutes dies of
COPD. It is the only disease that
is on the rise because, for example, we
can do things for treating breast cancer
and we have gotten better at managing
diabetes. Yet, too many people
find out they have emphysema so late in
the process and they have lost so much
function, there is not much we can do
about it. So COPD is on the rise.
So that has to be hard for you. I
mean, being a world class Olympian, to
see people around you who you love and
who cannot breathe.
BJ: It is the worst
thing in the world. You cannot even
imagine. When you watch them, it
is almost like they are drowning.
They just cannot get the air in.
was wondering if you and Kris have had
conversations with your adult children
about your advanced directive wishes.