Each year, about 35,000 people in Europe are diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), with approximately 5000 new cases in the UK, and the number increasing every year.

Jean was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in June 2015, just a month before she retired. After being diagnosed with asthma in 2011, she was referred to her doctor who took a CT scan which revealed IPF.

It was a shock because I was not expecting it. I have no family history of IPF.

Some studies have shown that IPF has a genetic trend, meaning that you are more likely to be diagnosed with IPF if a relative also has the lung disease. Also, men are often more likely than women to also be diagnosed.

Often patients are left feeling short of breath, which slowly gets worse and worse, as their illness develops. The term 'idiopathic' means the cause is unknown, IPF is a progressive, scaring lung disease that is incurable. This impacts many patients lives, as daily activities begin to become more strenuous, such as walking up stairs and getting dressed. Jean shares how she manages her illness;

"I do not take any medication to manage my IPF. Instead I concentrate on living a healthy balanced lifestyle. I am an avid walker, and enjoy balance and strength exercise classes. I also attend meditation classes and am a member of my local choir, all of which i think really helps me manage my IPF."

"I am always optimistic in terms of my health, but I am cautious also. So, I annually get the flu jab and would definitely recommend it to anyone else diagnosed with IPF, take all the precaution necessary for you live as comfortably and as healthily as possible."

"I would advise anyone who has been recently diagnosed with IPF to NOT google search it. When I saw that patients who are diagnosed with IPF have an average life expectancy of 3-4 years, I was terrified! Talk to your doctor, get all the facts from a professional and discuss the options of how to manage your illness before googling IPF, it will only make you worry."

Overall, although initially the diagnosis was terrifying, I think being diagnosed with IPF has made me a stronger person; the person I am today!