Six-year-old Luke Selfridge has been living with lung disease his whole life. Now, he will be honored at the Breath of Fresh Air Gala in Louisville on October 7, 2022, to inspire, encourage and empower others to raise their voices for lung health.
"We were first made aware of Luke’s condition 20 weeks into my pregnancy. Three months after my son’s birth, he had a lung tumor removed,” Luke’s mother, Ashley, said. “At seven months old, Luke had a bronchoscopy and was diagnosed with reactive airway disease and tracheomalacia – two conditions that result in lung irritation and trouble breathing.”
Luke was sick and had unhealthy lungs often for the first several years of his life. He underwent steroid and antibiotic treatments, CT scans and bronchoscopies—this being a relatively invasive procedure that doctors use to monitor a patient’s lungs. He sometimes used a therapeutic vest to keep his lungs clear.
“We will never forget what Luke went through. I want people to know that kids are resilient, but so are parents,” Ashley said. “We’re all tougher than we ever imagined because we have no other choice. We do hard things because our kids are worth it.”
At the Gala, the Selfridges look forward to meeting other Lung Health champions who aim to make an impact through their research and advocacy. Luke expressed that, though being honored as a Lung Health champion “makes him happy,” he still views himself as a normal and healthy boy who enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his older brothers.
Ashley chose to become involved with the event for the first time this year because of the lifesaving research the Lung Association has advanced for those with lung disease, like her son.
“Personally, I don’t know where my son would be without the Lung Association’s efforts,” she said. “Even though our journey has been filled with many challenges, we feel confident in saying that things would have been much harder without all of their expertise.”
The 14th Annual Breath of Fresh Air Gala will be held at the Olmsted on Friday, October 7, 2022. The event’s theme is Ghouls, Ghosts and Gremlins. Funds raised from the Gala will support lung disease research, education and advocacy in the Louisville community.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit bofakya.org.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.