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Ashlyn V., PA

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t struggle to catch my breath. I also couldn’t tell you the last time I didn’t have my inhaler with me. I’ve had asthma for all of my 20 years.

When my school friends were outside enjoying snow days, I had to stay inside due to the wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath that would follow if I joined in the fun. I told myself when I was younger that I wouldn’t let my disease stop me from enjoying life. Attending asthma camps run by the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania helped me manage my asthma over the years, and I’ve been able to participate in soccer, color guard and dancing.

I’m living the life I always wanted— attending college in hopes of becoming a secondary English teacher, but air pollution makes my fight to live a normal life very difficult. Many people don’t see the effect of air quality on those who suffer from asthma—but I do. That’s why I support the American Lung Association and its fight for clean, healthy air. 

I feel so strongly about closing the loopholes in the Clean Air Act. It’s important that we keep safeguards to protect the public and people with asthma from the harmful effects of air pollution. I urge everyone to join me in supporting the American Lung Association’s mission. Clean air keeps us healthier.

First published: February 18, 2013

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