World Pneumonia Day & the Who Pneu? Campaign
(November 12, 2015) -
Today, on World Pneumonia Day, the American Lung Association announces a new Fight For Air Climb National Signature Sponsorship through Who Pneu?™, public awareness campaign developed in partnership with Pfizer, a move that will expand the local reach of the campaign's message that pneumococcal pneumonia can strike people anywhere and anytime, and that even otherwise healthy and active adults 50 and older are at increased risk for the disease. 1,2
Each year, the American Lung Association challenges over 160,000 individuals to see how high they can climb at our annual Fight for Air Climbs across the United States. While this vertical road race may seem better suited for a younger person, more than 30,000 participants age 50 and older scale thousands of steps in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums, and arenas in support of the Lung Association.
"During our Fight for Air Climbs, I see some of our older participants outpace their younger counterparts through their dedicated training and enthusiasm for this endurance event," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association. "But even if we think that 50 is the new 30, the truth is our immune system weakens as we age, increasing our risk for serious infections like pneumococcal pneumonia." 2
The Who Pneu? campaign launched in September 2015 to encourage Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers to recognize their personal risk for pneumococcal pneumonia — a serious lung disease that can be spread by coughing and sneezing. 3
In 2016, actor and campaign spokesperson Tim Daly will visit two Lung Association Fight for Air Climbs and race up thousands of steps in "vertical races" with other participants to share the message about pneumococcal pneumonia and his personal connection to the disease.
"At first, my mom though she had a bad cold, but the second I saw her I knew something was seriously wrong. She looked horrible. She was very weak and pale, and struggling to breathe," said Tim, recounting the day he visited his mom and then decided to drive her straight to the hospital emergency room. "The experience with my mom really scared me because she got really sick." In 1991, Tim's mother was hospitalized for over a week with the disease, although hospitalization is not always necessary.
Watch Tim's full story, and take the online risk assessment to learn your personal risk for pneumococcal pneumonia at lung.org/who-pneu.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease. Symptoms & Complications. http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/symptoms-complications.html. Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Weinberger B, Herndler-Brandstetter D, Schwanninger A, et al. Biology of immune responses to vaccines in elderly persons. Clin Infect Dis. 2088; 46: 1078-1084.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease: Risk Factors & Transmission. http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/risk-transmission.html. Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed May 11, 2015.