NASCAR racer Danica Patrick recently visited Capitol Hill to lobby for a respiratory disease, COPD, that has indirectly affected her life.
Patrick spoke about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a disease that killed her grandmother. The racecar driver said she was nervous about speaking in front of congress.
"One of the areas I have a little less confidence in is giving any kind of a speech. But it makes it a little easier because I know a lot of the statistics, and I have my own story about my grandma,” Patrick said, according to USA Today.
"I know a lot about this, and I'm not going to say anything that is not factual. But anytime you're speaking, you hope you'll entertain them. I wonder if they'll be a loose bunch, if they'll laugh, if they'll joke, if they'll look at me sitting up straight in their seats with their ties tied tight. It'll be interesting to see what the mood is."
Patrick said she would like to bring awareness to the cause nationally, USA Today reported.
"My goal is people associate November with COPD awareness month as much as they notice October with breast cancer and pink," Patrick said. "That'd be a great thing if it happened. The fact that COPD kills more people than breast cancer and diabetes put together should raise some red flags that people don't know much about this disease."
Patrick believes that raising this type of awareness will make a big difference.
“I don’t know what government needs to do about it,” Patrick said, ABC News wrote.
“But the bottom line is that pure awareness is going to be enough to do something about this disease and change its statistics,” she added.