NashvilleGab was fortunate to sit down with Joe Nichols recently and discuss his music, but we were extraordinarily lucky with this particular artist, as we were able to spend some additional time with him to discuss a cause near and dear to his heart.
The cause is Boehringer Ingelheim’s “Breathless IPF” campaign, raising awareness of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, the very disease that claimed Nichols’ father’s life fourteen years ago. Nichols’ goal with his involvement is to drive fans to the campaign’s official website, in hopes of assisting in early disease detection.
Trying to get people on the website. Trying to get people to go there and visit, see if maybe they have some of the symptoms, get some direction on what to do if they do. . . . The overall goal is to raise awareness and see if we can get people out there talking about IPF.
As mentioned above, IPF is something with which Nichols is all too familiar, having watched his father suffer from the disease.
My father passed away from IPF fourteen years ago, and so, since then, we, my family and I, have looked for opportunities to somehow get involved, or at least be a part of, something to help find a cure, or at least [raise] more awareness for the disease out there. Finally, this is a worthwhile campaign, dealing with something very close to me, very personal to me, and I can be a part of.
Not only has IPF impacted Nichols’ personal life, it has also touched his music, as the disease has provided Nichols with immeasurable “sadness over the years. Sadness that has made its way into my music for sure.”
However, Nichols now credits the Breathless IPF campaign for helping him heal.
This new campaign is kind of bringing a little bit of healing; healing I don’t think I ever had since he passed away, so, in turn, it’s kind of making me a more positive person in regard to my family. My family’s always the number one thing on my mind, always the most important, and I think it was a very hard thing to go through with my father, but now I think there may be some sort of hope and a little positive light, you know, because of the Breathless campaign. Musically, I think I’m a happy guy. I’m a happy guy now. And I was a sad guy before when my father passed away, and I think when people listen to the record they can probably hear that in my voice.
Through his involvement with Breathless campaign, Nichols has been able to share his story, which has, likewise, aided in the healing process.
To know someone else knows the pain you’ve been through is comforting. I think, number one, emotional healing is as important as anything in this situation. . . . There are others out there who have either had this disease or have had his affect them or their family. I think it’s a pretty important thing, the network of people who share your experience.
For more on Boehringer Ingelheim’s and the Breathless IPF campaign, visit www.breathlessipf.com. You can also visit Joe Nichols’ official website for information on the campaign, as well as on the Nashville recording artist’s new music.