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Delores A., NC

I am a 69-year-old retired schoolteacher. I have had asthma since childhood. My family lived in Washington, DC. The doctors advised my father to relocate to Arizona, but this was not possible.

During my childbearing years, the asthma decreased, so that I rarely took medications or had attacks requiring hospitalization. In 2008, I retired and relocated to Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC. I have had breathing problems constantly since coming here.

Two respiratory doctors have told me they also started with allergies since coming to Charlotte. They blamed the huge number of trees in North Carolina for the large number of allergy and asthmatic patients. Also, the Dogwood Tree is very popular here, and I am fiercely allergic to the Dogwood.

Since coming here seven years ago, I have been hospitalized four times during the spring season for serious asthma attacks. This year, I have been closed up in my house since February and wear a facemask when I need to go out.

I don't open my windows and shower as soon as I come in from the outside. (I have a four-year-old grandson who is suffering along with me. He gets very ill and breaks out in a body rash yearly.)

Since moving here, Charlotte has experienced a population explosion. We moved into a rural area with lots of undeveloped land and lots and lots of trees! Most of the trees have been cut down and replaced by housing developments, shopping malls, fast food restaurants, gas stations, and there is much more to come.

The automobile traffic is a nightmare and our rural life now feels like we’re living in the inner city. I am considering another move. This time, I am looking at one of the Caribbean islands!

First published: April 30, 2015

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