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Carlene G., MT

After her most recent hospitalization and coma, Carlene had to tell her three sons what no parent wants to tell their children: that due to her severe asthma, she may not be around for much longer, and that she does not want to be kept on life support.

Dealing with asthma all her life, Carlene is now on six inhalers, along with numerous treatments and medications, and is increasingly frustrated by the handicap that asthma has brought on her life. Every day is a struggle for her, as well as her sisters and sons, who try to help her when they can. She knows that pollution plays a large factor in her health and is frequently forced to pass entire days without leaving the house. She truly believes that the death toll from asthma is on the rise. As others like Carlene continue to have to deal with the affects of hazardous air pollution, Congress should make no further delay in cleaning up toxic coal plants.

First published: September 30, 2011

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