Michele DaSilva is a member of the American Lung Association’s Asthma Patient Advisory Group and resides in New Jersey. In addition to her volunteer work with the Lung Association, she is involved with a local non-profit, Right2Breathe.
Michele was diagnosed with asthma at a young age and it has always been a part of her life. Her first symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. When she was a child, it was difficult for her to receive an accurate diagnosis. However, her family eventually found an outstanding pulmonologist at Columbia Presbyterian in New York City where she was able to receive care. Michele started on prednisone and took it every day of her childhood until her early twenties.
Like many individuals living with a chronic disease, her asthma journey has had its ups and downs. During her time in college, Michele’s asthma became unstable and she spent a week as an outpatient at National Jewish Health in Denver. She stayed on prednisone and eventually switched to inhaled corticosteroids once they became available. In recent years, she has seen success with biologics.
Michele’s lifelong history with asthma inspired her to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) to care for others with the same condition. She eventually got connected with the American Lung Association through her work as an RRT.
For Michele, serving on the Lung Association’s Asthma Patient Advisory Group allows her to continue to help others with asthma through her experience as both a patient and caregiver. She hopes to make a difference through her asthma education work and inform as many people as she can about new asthma medications, such as biologic therapies.
Michele is married and has one daughter. Outside of her work as a respiratory therapist, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking and gardening.