Connie Boase

Connie Boase is a survivor. Born at a time when “medical miracles” like antibiotics, steroids, allergy testing and CAT scans were unheard of, the 83 year-old Boase knows what it’s like to fight for air. 


Starting with hay fever at age 5, Boase eventually progressed to severe allergies and asthma, with periodic bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia throughout her lifetime.  In 1974, the school teacher and mother of five developed lung cancer.  Having never smoked, Boase and her doctors point to secondhand smoke as the cause of her cancer since her husband, Tom, was a heavy smoker.


After being one of the fortunate few to survive lung cancer, Boase used supplemental oxygen for years due to COPD. Yet, she was determined to lead a full life.  As a resident at Kendal of Oberlin, Boase tethered a 50-foot tube to her oxygen tank so she could do water exercises. She also made it a point to learn all she could to help herself get better.


Her grit paid off. These days, Boase is grateful to enjoy life without the need for an O2 tank during the day.  She is making plans to visit family and participates daily in water walking and table tennis.  Plus, she is excited to be helping plan Oberlin’s first “Lung Walk” to increase awareness and raise funds for American Lung Association research and education projects.


When it comes to fighting asthma, COPD and lung cancer, Boase knows perhaps better than anyone how important research, education and advocacy are.  ”There are so many people out there I want to help,” she says.