Vikita and Carey Poindexter

“Just because you have asthma, you can’t let it get you down,” says 12- year old Carey Poindexter. Carey has been afflicted with severe chronic asthma since birth.  He has been hospitalized 26 times, in addition to emergency room and doctor visits He also has been in intensive care four times and intubated once.   Carey takes six medications daily to manage his asthma, and checks the air quality every day to learn if he safely can go outside and play.

When he was first diagnosed, doctors said Carey would not live to see his 10th birthday.  Twelve years later, he enjoys playing basketball, religiously watches the San Diego Chargers, and is Youth Ambassador for the American Lung Association in California - Greater San Diego Area.

“Being the mother of a severe asthmatic, there are so many factors that we have to take into consideration just for Carey to have a somewhat normal childhood,” said Vikita Poindexter, Carey’s mom.  “We all take breathing for granted – Carey can’t. For him, it can be a monumental task.  No one should struggle to breathe.”

As a youth spokesperson for the American Lung Association in California, Carey helps spread the word about the need to support the organization that sponsors SCAMP CAMP and school-based asthma management programs for kids just like him.  Last year, he and his mom participated in the organization’s Fight For Air Walk fundraising event and raised over $3,000.

He also is an advocate for the clean air efforts of the organization. Carey was part of a No on Prop 23 news conference where he said that “the proposition was sponsored by out-of-state oil companies and voters should reject it.”

Carey and his mom are gearing up for the 2011 Fight for Air Walk – they will be supporting via their own fundraising and helping to rally and inspire others.

Carey says his life has been greatly impacted by the American Lung Association in California; he knows the organization is fighting for the air he breathes, fighting to find new treatments and cures for lung diseases like asthma, and fighting to raise awareness for the 300,000 men, women and children in San Diego living with lung disease.