Living with chronic and rare conditions such as chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) can be a daunting experience. The symptoms of these conditions can be severe and have a significant impact on a person’s daily life. The journey can be lonely and isolating, and it’s common to feel like no one understands what you’re going through. This is where peer support can be incredibly valuable.

Peer support is a way for people with a shared experience to connect and share their stories, advice, and coping strategies. It can be offered in various forms, including online support groups, peer mentoring programs, and in-person support groups. It allows people to feel understood, validated, and supported in a way that other forms of support cannot offer.

At the National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC), we understand the importance of peer support for people living with aspergillosis. While we offer advice and guidance on how to manage your condition, we recognise that much of the support comes from those with a lived experience of the condition.

Our virtual patient and carer support meetings are an excellent example of peer support in action. These meetings are hosted on Microsoft Teams twice a week and are open to everyone, not just those who are patients of NAC. These meetings provide a safe and supportive space for people to connect with others who understand what they’re going through. They allow people to share their experiences, ask questions, and learn from others who have lived with the condition for a longer period.

Through these meetings, patients gain insight into coping mechanisms and strategies that help others live as normal a life as possible with their condition. We have seen many of our patients build lasting friendships with people who understand what they’re going through.

So, if you are living with any type of aspergillosis, our peer support channels can be a valuable resource. Connecting with others who share your experience can provide benefits that are difficult to achieve through other forms of support. Our virtual patient and carer support meetings are an excellent place to start, and we encourage you to join us and see the benefits of peer support for yourself.

You can find out the details and sign up for our meetings by clicking here.