ING NYC Marathon Runner and Brooklyn Resident Supports American Lung Association of the Northeast

NEW YORK, NY (September 24, 2013)

On Saturday, November 3, thousands will take to the streets of New York City as part of the 2013 ING New York City Marathon. The course, which starts in Staten Island, covers 26.2 miles through all five boroughs, finishing in Manhattan’s Central Park. Some marathoners run to surpass a “best time” or even just for fun while others run to support a charity that they believe in. Brooklyn resident Bonnie Ann Miller, 25, will run for the first time in 2013 in support of the American Lung Association of the Northeast, a cause that is near and dear to her heart.

Bonnie, originally from Sarasota, Florida, was born 9 weeks premature with severely underdeveloped lungs and remained in the hospital for almost two months following her birth.Bonnie Miller She went on to play basketball in both middle school and high school. It is because she was so active that Bonnie started to notice difficulty breathing; she was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 12. When she experienced flare-ups, Bonnie used an inhaler prescribed by her doctor which she said worked effectively for her. She is among the 25 million Americans who suffer from asthma, including more than 8 million children.

“We are so pleased to have Bonnie and the four other runners that are supporting the American Lung Association of the Northeast through their participation in the ING NYC Marathon this November,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Lung disease affects millions of Americans and those who are both living with lung disease and enjoy an active lifestyle know that physical activity can be extremely taxing on the lungs. Bonnie is doing a real service by talking candidly about her how her condition has affected her and by raising funds that will help so many through our research, education and advocacy efforts.”

Bonnie describes her asthma as “mild” and has continued to work in conjunction with her doctors to keep flare-ups at bay. A former coworker, Ryan Graney, unfortunately did not experience the same kind of mild symptoms and has been hospitalized countless times because of her asthma. Ryan has been a longtime supporter of the American Lung Association and recognizing that Bonnie is an avid runner, brought the challenge of running the ING NYC Marathon to benefit the American Lung Association of the Northeast to her. Having lived with lung disease most of her life and having watched her grandmother struggle to breathe from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Bonnie felt it would be an ideal fit for her. Her grandmother ultimately lost her life to COPD, the third leading cause of death in the United States.

In the past couple of years, Bonnie’s asthma has not posed a problem for her when it comes to her active lifestyle. Still, because of her condition, completing the ING NYC Marathon was something she never dreamed of. “I definitely never thought I would be running a marathon,” said Bonnie. Bonnie offers these words of encouragement to others with lung disease: “Find what works for you; if you are athletic and are struggling with lung disease, work with your doctors to control your symptoms and figure out a game plan that works best for you.”

Bonnie highlights the importance of clean, healthy air not just as an asthmatic, but also someone who prefers to exercise outdoors. “Sometimes I supplement my workouts by running at the gym,” explains Bonnie. “It’s more difficult for me to breathe when I work out indoors due to the lack of ventilation.” Having moved to New York just a year and a half ago from the South, Bonnie prefers running outdoors in the cooler temperatures. “It is very hot and humid where I am from and that often makes it difficult for me to breathe when running outdoors. Running in New York has been so different. I just recently moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and have found that there is much more open space to run and more accessibility to public parks.” Bonnie now resides in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Bonnie’s goal is to raise $5,000 to support the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s mission through research, education and advocacy. She has reached out to family, friends and coworkers through email and in person to support her as she prepares to run 26.2 miles. Bonnie has also utilized her social media networks and has received donations from some who she otherwise would have not reached out to personally for support. She hopes to set up a happy hour and fundraiser in the upcoming weeks. Donations in support of Bonnie can be made by visiting her personal fundraising page at go.lungne.org/miller2013.