Jamie B., OK | American Lung Association

Jamie B., OK

I have battled acute asthma since I was 5 years old. I am now 47. I am thankful I am alive, as I have been brought back to life 4 times now, most recently on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

For 40 years I have fought to breathe. I remember as a child my parents frequently taking me the emergency room and staying up with me many nights just hoping that I would catch my breath. Despite these long and frequent late nights, they always went to work the next day.

My Mother didn't drive, and many times I had to walk home from school not being able to breathe; I'm not sure how I made it, but I did. As I grew older, I learned to drive myself to the hospital, because I knew I had no time to waste.

The paramedics once told me that I had to lie on a stretcher, and I told them I would die if they made me do that. I learned not to rely on them, and so I now drive myself or have a family member take me to the hospital. This last instance, just a week ago, I went to 3 different hospitals and was told there was a 4 hour wait. I thought to myself, "I am dying," and knew I would be dead soon if nobody rushed me in and started shots, IV's of steroids, and the other breathing treatments I need.

By the time the doctors could see me, my airways had nearly closed. It took them three days to get me breathing normally again.

I want to do my best to raise awareness so that everyone will know just how deadly this disease is. I am fortunate to be alive after nearly dying four times. Growing up I missed out on so much in life. Sporting events, nature walks and real Christmas trees. I never could be around any type of farm animals, county fairs or hay rides, etc.... None of this has changed all these years later.

I hold a full time job, which is very hard, because people are always asking me why I shake so much. The side effects from the medicines I have to take for the rest of my life cause this. In addition to this horrible battle, I managed to raise 3 kids as a single mom while working to support them. I am not wanting sympathy. Please know that I simply want to help others with asthma. That is why I am chairing the Climb for Life event this year, which will take place on April 6, 2013 in Tulsa OK. I hope that together we can raise funds and awareness to bring help and hope to others.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.