Friday, November 19, 2010

A letter to Kohl's Headquarters regarding my Mom

Corporate Headquarters
Kohl's Department Stores
N56

W17000 Ridgewood Drive
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
November 19th, 2010

Dear Kohl’s,

I am writing to you with the encouragement of Tom Archer, President of the Second Wind Lung Transplant Association, Inc.

My Mom:
For as long as she has been able, she has always been one to be on the go from sun up to sun down, running errands, working, and shopping until she dropped.  I remember when my mom could shop all day and still have breath in her at the end of the day.  Now, with her illness, it’s hard to make it even out her front door without becoming breathless. 

Throughout her illness, shopping and getting her hair done weekly and going out to dinner once in a while have become her enjoyments in life.  When she takes her last breath, it will be either in Kohl’s (store number  or at Zen’s Hair Salon.  Well, that’s if she could have it her way. 

Up until recently she has been able to use the walking carts to get around, but her disease has progressed to a point where she now needs a wheel chair to shop. She is currently undergoing pre-lung transplant testing and my family hopes that she is placed on the transplant list and gets the lung she needs to shop until she can drop again.

On a recent shopping outing we ran into a problem with the wheelchairs Kohl’s has on hand.  The back of the chairs are missing simple “O rings” to be able to hold oxygen tanks.

As you see from the pictures that I am sending you, it was an uncomfortable shopping experience for my Mom and her trip to your store diminished her keenness to ever shop again.   As a caregiver I want to make my mother’s shopping experience as comfortable as possible for her.

I have a simple request. Would Kohl’s be willing to fit its wheelchairs with simple O ring to be able to hold oxygen tanks, and maybe even a long metal arm extending upward from the wheel chair to hang clothes on as we shop?  I do appreciate that you have chairs on hand for those that need them.  I hope Kohl’s can make these simple modifications to the chairs on hand.

I am writing this letter on behalf of all of those with COPD and other lung diseases that require the use of oxygen, and for their care givers.

Below are some statistics on COPD from the American Lung Association:

·         COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time.
·         Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.
·         COPD is a major cause of disability, and it's the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
·         61,000 women and 57,260 men died of the disease in 2004; about 12 million adults in the U.S. have COPD.
·         COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit one’s ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent one (such as my Mom) from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of oneself, and shopping!!
·         Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older people.

"COPD is a huge problem in women," says MeiLan Han, MD, MS, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, and director of its Women's Respiratory Health Clinic.

She is the lead author of a clinical commentary on the topic of gender and COPD published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

COPD in women has been on the rise in recent years. More women than men in the U.S. now die from it each year, she says.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter, and meet my Mother, and I look forward to your response.  Thank You!

Sincerely,

Kevin Maloney





Kohl's Responds to my letter

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