Time to Walk the Talk about Asthma
For example, we know that our health, and even our continued existence on this planet, hinges on the very air we breathe. Yet, we tend to take good air quality for granted, unless something happens that makes it hard for us to breathe. The same thing happens with asthma. Despite the widespread prevalence of this costly. serious, and sometimes even deadly lung disease, many people still misunderstand or underestimate its impact. Those who have never felt the terror of an asthma attack, or rushed a child to the hospital in the dead of night may think, “Asthma is no big deal. Kids get it. They sit out gym glass, but they outgrow it, don’t they?”Even those who know asthma up close and personal sometimes fail to take it seriously. The same people who wouldn’t dream of telling a diabetic to skip an insulin shot might pooh-pooh the idea a child with asthma may need to carry a rescue inhaler at all times.The fact is asthma is a big deal. It cannot be cured, and it affects people of all ages. More than 22 million Americans have asthma, including over 366,000 Kentucky children and adults. Nearly 92,000 people in the Louisville metropolitan area alone suffer from asthma.Asthma is the leading cause of school days missed due to a chronic illness. It costs the U.S. about $20 billion a year and is a major cause of lost work time and hospitalizations. At Kosair Children’s Hospital, asthma is #1 cause for inpatient admissions and the #3 cause of emergency room visits. Asthma can kill. While asthma-related deaths are decreasing—about 12 Americans die each day from asthma—even one death is too many. Even though asthma cannot yet be cured, with the right information and medical care it can and should be largely controlled. The American Lung Association’s Asthma Walk is all about raising money for asthma research and programs, and increasing awareness about the importance of good asthma control.
The 2009 Louisville Asthma Walk will take place Saturday, June 6th at Waterfront Park. The walk helps support programs such as community education for children and adults who have asthma, asthma certification workshops for health care providers, clean air advocacy initiatives and a regional medically-staffed summer camp for children who have asthma.
“Good air quality and good lung health shouldn’t be taken for granted,” said walk director Kimberly McCubbin. “If you’re grateful for every breath you draw, we need you to come out and walk to join the fight for air.” Work place teams, community groups, families and individuals interested in taking part in the 2009 Asthma Walk can sign up on-line or find more information at www.asthmawalk,org.
Progress Made on Air Quality, But Work Remains
There was a time in Louisville when you couldn’t walk downtown without getting flecks of black soot on your clean white shirt. The sun was blotted out by air pollution from factory smokestacks, motor vehicles, and coal furnaces in homes.