The name Patty Loveless has been well-known since the late 1980s, especially to country music fans. Loveless started making her presence felt in the world of country music at a young age.
Her older sister Dottie Ramey had been a singer and a great inspiration to Loveless in her early years. Loveless looked up to her and wanted to follow in her footsteps.
"I've always felt like a child of the Opry. I did finally become a member in 1988," Loveless said in a phone interview, "Dottie had had dreams of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry one day."
But Dottie's time was cut short by emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Loveless' big sister Dottie died at the age of 48.
When Loveless was asked to be a Celebrity Ambassador for DRIVE4COPD, she was very interested in helping make people more aware of the dangers of COPD. Her earlier experience with her sister Dottie intensified her desire to become involved. She is one of three Ambassadors, along with Billy Ray Cyrus and Danica Patrick.
DRIVE4COPD was founded in February, 2010 by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. who teamed up with a number of other organizations to make a difference on the COPD front. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the COPD Alliance, the COPD Foundation, the US COPD Coalition, as well as Breathe California of Los Angeles County are health organizations involved. NASCAR and the Country Music Association have also come alongside to lend their hefty support.
Music has been an important avenue in DRIVE4COPD's push for raising COPD awareness. And this is where Loveless' considerable reputation and musical experience has shone. In 2010, her song "Drive" became the anthem for the DRIVE4COPD campaign. Then in 2011, she and Billy Ray Cyrus participated in the judging of the Tune Up for COPD Songwriting Competition.
Amateur musicians and songwriters were invited to submit songs to raise COPD awareness. Out of more than 150 songs that were submitted, Tim Wright's "Just As Long As I Can Breathe" was chosen as the winner of the Tune Up for COPD Songwriting Competition.