Philips Raises Awareness for COPD with Documentary Honoring Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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COPD and Leonard Nimoy

Royal Philips is sponsoring the documentary “COPD: Highly Illogical – Remembering Leonard Nimoy,” a tribute that aims to educate viewers about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through the personal journey of the “Star Trek” star while also providing the latest information about available treatments.

The documentary is produced by Nimoy’s daughter, Julie Nimoy, and her husband, David Knight, through Health Point Productions. The film focuses on the last few months of the legendary actor’s life. He died in February 2015 (trailer available here).


Leonard Nimoy. Photo Credit: Royal Philips

Nimoy’s fame revolved mainly around his role as Mr. Spock in the TV and movie series “Star Trek.” His COPD stemmed from his smoking habit and the fact that his disease wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2013, almost a decade after the first symptoms. This did not allow for a proper and timely management of the disease, since it was found past the point of effective treatment.

“Movie enthusiasts and science fiction fans alike were captivated by my father, Leonard Nimoy, in his role as Mr. Spock in ‘Star Trek’,” Julie Nimoy said in a press release. “His character’s iconic catchphrase, ‘Live long and prosper,’ quickly echoed through generations and became a battle cry for fans. I look forward to continuing my dad’s mission of raising awareness and helping COPD patients like him to live longer and prosper in their own lives, as my dad did in his.”

Philips will use its showcase of the company’s latest COPD and respiratory solutions at the upcoming European Respiratory Society International Congress (ERS) in London to release additional details on the production of the documentary. The ERS International Congress is taking place Sept. 3-7.

COPD is estimated to affect an increasing number of people worldwide. Currently, it is estimated to affect 24 million adults, with over 50 percent not knowing they have the disease despite their symptoms. In the U.S., about 120,000 people a year die from COPD. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COPD is expected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide in the next 15 years, overtaking breast cancer, colorectal, and prostate cancer combined.

“COPD claims millions of lives every year, yet it doesn’t have nearly as much visibility as it should for how difficult it makes the lives of patients and their families. Our aim in sponsoring this film is to raise awareness of the disease and its consequences if left undiagnosed or untreated,” said Eli Diacopoulos, Philips’ home respiratory care business leader.

“By sponsoring this film, we hope to spark conversations about improving COPD detection, prevention, and treatment, and empower people with facts to educate others about a disease that has profoundly impacted many lives, like Leonard Nimoy’s,” he said.

Follow all updates on the release of “COPD: Highly Illogical – Remembering Leonard Nimoy,” on Facebook and Twitter.