Barrie's disclosure comes during National PF Awareness Month, which seeks to raise visibility of the disease and the efforts of the non-profit organization, the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.
“I have a very full, active life, but what lies ahead is unknown and yet known at the same time,” said Barrie, who is one of 200,000 Americans living with the disease, in a statement. “I am living full steam ahead and am now trying to help other people do the same.”
“There has never been a time when IPF has been at the forefront of science and innovation as it is now and having Barbara’s voice aligned with our efforts is making a huge difference,” added Mishka Michon, CEO of the CPF. “Her attitude is positive and her words are incredibly inspiring.”
Barrie’s announcement comes just days ahead of a meeting for the disease being held at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is reviewing two possible treatments for IPF; if approved, they will be the first drugs available for IPF patients in the U.S.
IPF, according to a press statement, causes "progressive and relentless scarring in the lungs and renders them unable to exchange life sustaining blood oxygen. 'Idiopathic' means the disease has no known cause. IPF is invariably fatal with a life expectancy of an average three years and claims as many lives each year as breast cancer (40,000). The only known way to survive the disease longer term is by lung transplantation. Less than one percent of the patients receive a transplant." Public figures lost to Pulmonary Fibrosis include Robert Goulet, Marlon Brando, Gordon Jump, James Doohan, Peter Benchley and Evel Knievel.
Barrie is best known for her work on stage in The Selling of the President, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, California Suite, Torch Song Trilogy and Company, on TV in "Suddenly Susan" and "Barney Miller" and on film in "One Potato, Two Potato," "Frame of Mind," "Hercules and "Private Benjamin."