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
Sign up for the latest lung health news sent right to your inbox.
Join more than 500,000 people who receive research updates, inspiring stories, health information and more.