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Sonja D., MA

Air is essential. I've lived with awful air conditions many times in my life. I grew up in a smokers' home. I had ear infections as a child. I lived in Kathmandu Nepal where we blew our noses and had black handkerchiefs because the air was so awful. When I moved to the Greater Boston Area, we thought we had a great apartment until we found out the walls and carpet was causing the kids' and my asthma.

My mother died of mesothelioma following a battle with lung cancer. My kids and I have moved out of that place, but we're still in the same zip code. Our area is under a Tufts study for the micro particles from the freeway. We're likely far enough away (1+ mile from the freeway).

I've just started a new job six months ago in Boston and I bike for my commute--40 minutes each way. I have had a difficult time breathing for last couple months. I don't know if it's my commute or my office building, which is very old.

Something is in the air. Once I earn enough PTO, I'll be able to take a bit of time to go to my doctor to get it looked at. I'll likely end up on an inhaler. So, for me, air is really important. I don't take it for granted. I'm grateful my kids have not had asthma symptoms for years and are off the medication. We need to do everything we can to keep the air a safe place to live and breathe; it's everywhere!

First published: October 17, 2016

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