Mother Climbs Tower to Educate Others After Son’s Sudden Death
(January 23, 2019) -
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After her son Michael Kuszak’s first asthma attack, worried Rockford mother Linda Lowry was reassured that “no one dies from an asthma attack.” Five years later, at 15-years-old, Michael died of an asthma attack in the middle of the night. Now, 10 years after her devastating loss, Lowry hopes to raise awareness about asthma and educate others about the chronic lung disease by participating in the Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers.
“We thought this would never happen to us,” said Lowry about the loss of her son. “I hear so many people say ‘Really? People still die of asthma?’ I do not want any parent to ever have to feel a world of pain of losing their child.”
Asthma affects an estimated 6 million children in the U.S and there are more than 3,500 asthma-related deaths per year. When Michael was 11, he complained about having a hard time breathing after a 24-hour run at school. Doctors diagnosed him with asthma and sent him home with an inhaler. After that, he was an active teen who never complained about his breathing. Then, just days before his 16th birthday on December 9, 2008, Michael died of an asthma attack in the middle of the night.
“Breathing is something you take for granted,” said Lowry. “This disease is unpredictable, and knowledge is power in managing it.”
Following his death, Lowry was determined to learn more about the lung disease that took her son’s life. She went back to school to become a nurse and just completed the American Lung Association’s Asthma Educator Institute.
“I want parents to know that there are resources that are paramount to successfully living with asthma, as well as any other chronic lung disease,” She said.
Lowry also signed up for the Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers, happening on March 10, to rally her friends and family to raise money for lung disease research, but also to educate others on how deadly asthma can be.
“The American Lung Association has their hands in the most up-to-date research and knowledge related to disease management and prevention of asthma,” she said. “They are the authorities on the subject, and becoming involved with the American Lung Association will allow me to pass this information on to the patients for whom I care, my own family and anyone else who wants to learn.”
The Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers, set for March 10, attracts thousands of Illinois residents and people from across the country who race up the stairs of 1, 2, 3 or all 4 Presidential Towers (a total of 180 floors, 2,340 steps). More information and registration for the event is available online.
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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