78-year-old Margaret Bowler suffers from a chronic lung disease, yet dedicates her life to helping others breathe better.

Bowler leads the Templeton Respiratory Exercise in Christchurch and is described by her peers as a role model. She lives with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Bowler has been volunteering her time and energy to run this exercise support group in 2018, for people in her community who suffer from lung disease, mainly the same disease as her.

Despite feeling unwell at times, Bowler still shows up for the class each week and also organises a monthly lunch for the group.

She has had her own exacerbations with COPD over recent years, yet she continues to be a role model and support to many of these people as they journey on their respiratory path together.

The team at the Canterbury Better Breathing Pulmonary Rehabilitation are extremely grateful for Bowler’s commitment, as they know that once patients have been discharged, she will care and look after them.

Bowler is described by those who attend her weekly classes as friendly, supportive, motivated, welcoming, dedicated, thoughtful and the “backbone of this place”.

Margaret Bowler was the winner of the COPD Award at the 2024 Respiratory Achievers’ Awards on Thursday.

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