Local Teen with Asthma Speaks Out to Raise Awareness
(May 16, 2018) -
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Sean Rodriguez, a Minneapolis 14-year-old, is sharing his journey with asthma in honor of Asthma Awareness Month in May.
Rodriguez was diagnosed with asthma, a chronic lung disease that impacts more than 400,000 Minnesotans, when he was just three years old. He was on medications and regularly used a nebulizer, a machine that helps deliver asthma medication. At age 11, after recovering from the flu and then a bad cold, he had such a bad asthma attack that he had to take an ambulance to the hospital.
“It was really scary. I was about to pass out, but I didn’t,” said Rodriguez.
Now at 14, his asthma is well controlled. He doesn’t use daily medications or a nebulizer, he can identify his triggers, and is an active teen. He shares his story with others to help raise awareness about asthma and to provide hope to people who suffer from asthma. In late March, he spoke at the Capitol Breathe-In for Asthma to raise awareness about childhood asthma and share information about proposed state legislation that would allow specialists to visit the homes of children with poorly-controlled asthma and help remediate triggers.
“Having asthma is not fun. I have heard people say it’s not real, it is just because you’re lazy. It honestly is a big problem,” said Rodriguez. “Kids who have it worse than me, it’s horrible to see them go through it because you know what they are going through. I want people to know that it can get better. I am living a really healthy lifestyle. Asthma might hold you down right now, but it won’t hold you down forever.”
During Asthma Awareness month, increase your asthma awareness and knowledge by visiting Lung.org/asthma-basics and taking the American Lung Association’s free online learning course. A self-paced learning tool, Asthma Basics covers asthma triggers and how to identify and reduce them, action plans when flare-ups do happen, how to respond to a breathing emergency, asthma medication tutorials and an asthma management plan template. This online course is ideal for everyone from healthcare professionals and school nurses to parents, those suffering from asthma themselves and even co-workers and friends.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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