Tiamy M., OH | American Lung Association

Tiamy M., OH

Both my daughters have severe asthma. I’ve had to call 9-1-1 so many times when they couldn’t breathe that when the fire trucks came to school for a special event, the paramedics knew their names.

Jsheona is now 15, but she was just three months old when she was given her first breathing machine. Jhanae is now 10, and was only two-months-old when the doctor placed her on the same asthma management regimen.

I've been trying to manage my daughters' asthma for their entire lives. It hasn't been easy. They have year-round allergies to just about everything, which means that simply playing outside could trigger an attack. I wish it were different, but they have to spend all of their time indoors. I've removed everything from our home that could be a trigger— no curtains, rugs or pets. Their friends are always welcome to visit, but I still can't risk allowing them to go to someone else's home, as the risk of them having an asthma attack is just too great.

The girls maintain good grades and are always on the honor roll, but their frequent flare-ups have contributed to a lot of missed school days. Fortunately, the school knows about their situation, and the teachers are very understanding; they even stop by the house sometimes to bring them homework.

Allergies and asthma do run in my family. My oldest brother was always in the hospital for his asthma, and I have bad allergies and eczema since childhood. I had really hoped my daughters would escape it. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.

We live just outside a big city with all the air pollution you'd expect from traffic-related car exhaust and industrial smokestacks. I can do my best to control anything that might trigger the girls' asthma inside our home, but I can't control the quality of the air they breathe outside.

As a concerned mother, I believe it is time for our representatives at both the state and national level to support legislation to clean up the air we breathe. It is our right to breathe healthy air.

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