Benjamin Gilbert, American Lung Association of the Southeast

Benjamin Gilbert

Over the last five years, Ben with the help from family and friends, has raised over $20,000 and volunteered over 500 hours of his time for the American Lung Association. He began volunteering when he was only 12 for a bar mitzvah project, and the Charleston, South Carolina staff says that they have never seen such commitment and devotion to a cause from someone so young. For the last five years, Ben has received the Highest Student Fundraiser Award at the Fight for Air Run/Walk.

Not only does Ben raise funds for lung disease research and local lung health programs, he promotes awareness about the importance of lung health. Ben is an outstanding spokesperson for our cause. He has appeared on television shows and spoken at various schools in the community educating others about the importance of lung health and lung disease.

Ben is also a straight A student at the Academic Magnet High School, where he is on the Varsity Crew Team, Captain and Head Programmer of the Robotics Team, founder of the Nok Hockey Club, a member of the Math Honor Society, National Honor Society and Treasurer of the French Honor Society. He is also vice president of his youth group.

Ben, who is now 17, was diagnosed with asthma at the age of six, and struggled with asthma throughout his childhood. He states, "Asthma is especially bad for younger kids who want nothing more than to play with their friends but can't. After feeling that first hand, I wanted to make sure no one had to deal with it alone."