Hartford Woman Uses Personal Experience with COPD to Educate the Public
(November 16, 2015) - HARTFORD, CT
At 25 years old Giomarie Rosario has faced a lifetime of struggle with lung disease. Only a young adult, Rosario of Hartford, has COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Lung Disease and is on oxygen full time. Now, Giomarie is getting involved during COPD Awareness Month this November and volunteering with the American Lung Association of the Northeast to spread awareness and encourage others like her. In April 2016, she will volunteer at the Fight for Air Climb in Hartford.
As a newborn, Giomarie experienced her first case of pneumonia. Her doctors learned she had hypogammalobulinemia, which is a congenital (present at birth) immune deficiency. A few years ago, Giomarie was diagnosed with Stage 2 COPD and she is now living with Stage 3 COPD. "It's affected my entire life, because I was in and out of hospitals and I couldn't finish school. I had to finish high school online," Rosario said.
COPD is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD damages the airways in your lungs and leads to shortness of breath, impacting your work, exercise, sleep and other everyday activities. However, COPD is often preventable and treatable.
"The Lung Association is grateful to Giomarie for working with us during the month of November to spread awareness about COPD," said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "It's important for the public to understand that COPD is a serious disease that doesn't just affect smokers it can affect anyone. We're proud to have Giomarie working with us and look forward to seeing her at the Hartford Fight for Air Climb in April."
Fight for Air Climbs are the American Lung Association's most unique fundraisers. Climbs take place in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve walking, running or racing up hundreds of steps. Sometimes called a "vertical road race," teams and individual participants can use the event as a fitness target, as a race, or as a great way to be active and meet new friends. The Fight for Air Climb: Hartford will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Hartford 21 Building.
Rosario is committed to educating others about the seriousness of her disease. "I was never a smoker. But, there are people who see me with my oxygen and just assume that I smoked and my COPD is the cause. I want to make sure other people don't have to deal with that," Rosario said. Giomarie plans to continue volunteering to teach others about lung disease and to have a support system in her corner as she continues to fight COPD.
Registration for the Fight for Air Climb: Hartford is now open. To find out more or to register go to www.fightforairclimb.org or contact Joy Morse, Event Manager at 860-838-4377 or HartfordClimb@LungNE.org. To learn more about COPD visit the American Lung Associaiton's website at Lung.org.