Fighting For Each Breath Of Air

By Nancy Banh, community outreach coordinator, American Lung Association

Breathe in, breathe out. Seems pretty easy, right? Unfortunately for some, it’s not that simple.

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Nancy Banh

The average adult takes 15 to 20 breaths a minute — more than 20,000 breaths a day. In Hawaii, there are more than 170,000 people suffering from lung diseases, ranging from asthma to lung cancer. We are American Lung Association in Hawaii (ALA-HI), an organization dedicated to every breath you take. The heart of our mission is to save lives by preventing lung disease and promoting lung health.

ALA-HI was founded on Kauai in 1929 as Kauai Tuberculosis Association, making it the oldest voluntary health organization in the state of Hawaii. Today, ALA-HI is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with its central office on Oahu serving all of Hawaii.

Our priority areas of asthma education and management, tobacco control and air-quality issues are provided through our signature evidence-based programs, advocacy and research efforts, and touch more than 45,000 children, teens and adults, such as a university professor who had attended one of our programs.

He had suffered from asthma and had felt helpless for more than a decade after searching for a solution and trying countless asthma medications on the market. Breathing was a struggle, and it became a debilitating disease. After attending a conference hosted by ALA-HI, he felt empowered to seek other options and improve his quality of life. He became an advocate for his own health, demanded other options and has successfully managed his asthma ever since, something he hadn’t been able to do in 12 years.

Here’s your chance to get involved: On June 2, join us at our annual Breathe Easy Breakfast. Network with each other, and contribute to our shared mission of improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Relationships that are built and donations collected go toward controlling tobacco use, alleviating the burden of lung disease on patients and families, and protecting the air we breathe.

Join our force as an advocate, volunteer or by donating. For more information, visit our website at ala-hawaii.org or contact our office at 537-5966.

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