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DRIVE4COPD Unveils COPD Monument to Travel the Country

DRIVE4COPD, a multiyear public health initiative that aims to help people identify symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and take action, recently unveiled 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, which will travel the country after its unveiling in New York.

The monument is a visual representation of the impact COPD has in the United States, with 24 large-scale pinwheels—the DRIVE4COPD symbol—to represent the 24 million Americans who may be living with COPD. Designed by artist and sculptor Michael Kalish, the monument reaches 14 feet high and spans half a football field.

“I travel the country collecting materials for my work, and many of the people I see on a daily basis are affected by COPD or are at risk for the disease,” said Kalish in a recent press release issued by DRIVE4COPD. “COPD affects people from all walks of life, and this is my opportunity to give them a voice.”

Kalish uses discarded everyday items such as car tires, boxing speed bags and recycled license plates to create his unique and highly sought-after works of art. A total of 2,400 license plates from all 50 states were used to construct the monument’s pinwheels, with the number of license plates reflecting the percentage of that state’s population affected by COPD. Each pinwheel is secured to a base shaped like one or more states, which together form the map of the United States. The monument also includes license plates from DRIVE4COPD spokespeople, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and Grammy award-winning country music artist Patty Loveless, who have both lost loved ones to COPD.

Following its unveiling in New York, the monument will travel to those states with the highest prevalence and population of COPD, including Texas, Florida and California. The organization hopes that the monument will increase disease awareness and motivate people to recognize their risk. Visitors of 24M can follow a self-guide tour through the monument to learn about its creation, the impact of COPD and the DRIVE4COPD campaign.

The monument will be on display in Glendale, Calif., from December 9 to 18, 2011.

For more information about 24M and the DRIVE4COPD campaign, visit drive4copd.com.