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Matt L., PA

When I was 8-years-old, I could not keep up with the other kids during little league baseball. I had trouble breathing. I would always get choked up during my games; nobody knew what was going on. It was never clear if I would be fine or if I would end up on the ground while attempting to run to first base.

It was scary as a kid not knowing what was going to happen next. My mom took me to a lung specialist where I was evaluated and diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. I was given an inhaler to use before practice and games. I even had to use it before playing with my friends, just so I could breathe and keep up with them.

I haven't had to use my inhaler since I was 15, and I am now 23. Even though I have been able to manage my asthma, others are not as lucky.

I believe it is important for me to speak up for all with asthma and others with different lung diseases that all are affected by air pollution. That is why I support the American Lung Association's efforts to ensure the air we breathe is clean and safe. No one should be put into danger by being forced to breathe unhealthy, polluted air, and it is our duty to protect others by making our air clean and healthy.

First published: August 21, 2013

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