Blue Back Square Lifestyle Reader Contributed Schools

West Hartford Residents and Local Educators Walk a Million Miles for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research

The Bugbee crew with Mal Doyle. Courtesy photo

West Hartford resident Mal Doyle, his daughter, and a team from Bugbee Elementary School raised more than $11,000 for pulmonary fibrosis research during spring break in 2021.

Mal Doyle and his daughter, Valerie Hansen. Courtesy photo


West Hartford resident Mal Doyle and his daughter, Valerie Hansen, raised more than $11,000 – and counting – from their recent Steps for Better Breathing Walk in support of Mal and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF).

Hansen is a second-grade teacher at Bugbee Elementary School and she, along with 23 teachers and Principal Kelly Brouse, walked more than 1 million steps during their recent spring break – a true commitment for these essential workers who have been working tirelessly as it is! Each walker committed to getting five pledges of at least $20 each, and the goal was to raise $10,000. Donations are still being accepted.

Doyle is a PFF Ambassador and local support group leader. He currently lives with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a debilitating, incurable lung disease that causes progressive scarring of the lungs. Money raised will go towards research to finding a cure, so the more than 200,000 Americans living with this disease, including Doyle, can live longer, better lives.

video of Doyle and Hansen discussing the Walk and sharing their gratitude can be seen here.

Participating in the Walk Courtesy photo

Upcoming West Hartford events that raise awareness about pulmonary fibrosis and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund include:

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  • Saturday, June 19, 2021 “Bubbles for Breathing at Blue Back Square” 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A bubble machine rented from “Go Event Entertainment” will fill “Blue Back Square” with bubbles for three hours, and music will be provided by School of Rock. There will be a table with educational materials, small bubble bottles, bracelets and a donation box. The event will be held in the Webster Walk area of Blue Back Square.
  • Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021 “Yoga from the Heart” Class to Benefit the PFF. 9-10 a.m. For the third consecutive year, Diane Couture has graciously offered to conduct a special class with proceeds directed to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. This class will be held in the Webster Walk area of Blue Back Square. There will be a table with educational materials, T-shirts and bracelets along with a donation box.
  • Sept. 1-30, 2021 “Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month” The Delamar Hotel and Blue Back Square will go “blue” for the entire month of September. The Delamar will have the beautiful fountain in front of the hotel bubbling with PFF colors every evening for the entire month. In addition, they are planning to create a signature drink for the month with the proceeds directed to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Blue Back Square has once again committed to have all 8-10 flower beds shining with blue lights for the entire month of September.

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