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Ginger W., OR

I have COPD. I left Los Angeles because of the air 40 years ago. Both my parents were heavy smokers. I had whooping cough at age 4 in addition to five bouts with chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.

Then I started smoking and continued to smoke along with my husband until 2002. I tried several times and several methods to stop smoking: tacks in the ears, aversion therapy, hypnotherapy and cold turkey. I stopped when I had a heart attack. It scared me. I stopped right then.

After I stopped, the COPD became apparent. I was sick and kept getting worse. I ballooned to 310 pounds in one year and learned I had a brain tumor and a huge thyroid tumor. It has been a long haul, but I have now lost 110 pounds and feel better than I have in a long, long time.

I still have COPD and must have oxygen to sleep. I fight every day. On some days it's like breathing through a tiny straw. Clean air would be a blessing.


First published: May 1, 2015

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