May 2012: May is Asthma Awareness Month

Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago's e-newsletter is published monthly and contains news of our happenings, program updates and links to lung health resources. To receive our monthly e-newsletter, send an email to

This month's issue includes:

May is Asthma Awareness Month!

In recognition of Asthma Awareness Month, we're offering a special e-news series in May. Each week, we'll feature a story that highlights a key aspect of Respiratory Health Association's commitment to addressing asthma in our communities. We will also feature resources, trainings and other ways you can support asthma efforts. We hope that this series will help you understand more about living well with asthma or helping a loved one to do so.

Shiloh's story

When Shiloh Washington was 2 years old, a respiratory problem caused him to gasp for air so intensely that his ribs were showing. His mother, Ifeoma Nkemdi, rushed him to the emergency room, where doctors said he could have died if she'd waited any longer. She was terrified that it might happen again. Unfortunately, it did.

For the next six years, Shiloh was in and out of the hospital because of his breathing problems. He missed weeks of school and Ifeoma had to take time off of work to care for him. This continued until he was 8, when a doctor finally diagnosed him with asthma. The diagnosis gave Ifeoma hope that she and Shiloh could learn enough to prevent future trips to the ER.

"When your child is diagnosed with asthma, you want to make sure you're equipped with all of the right medications and knowledge about how to treat it," Ifeoma said. "We saw an allergist so we could learn what might trigger an asthma attack, and we found a pediatrician who we felt comfortable with to help us find the right medicines for Shiloh."

They also worked with their doctor to create an asthma action plan, a written document that outlines what Shiloh should do when he starts to feel his warning signs of an asthma attack. By educating themselves on Shiloh's asthma signs and symptoms, his school absences were cut back from 25 days a year to only about six this year.

Read more of Shiloh's story here.

Bring Asthma Management to your community

Asthma ManagementRespiratory Health Association offers Asthma Management, a free, one-hour course that empowers parents, teachers, childcare providers and other caregivers to prevent asthma episodes and handle asthma emergencies. 

To bring Asthma Management to your school, daycare facility or workplace, contact Marc.


Bring Fight Asthma Now to your School

FANRespiratory Health Association's Fight Asthma Now curriculum reaches more than 1,000 Chicago-area students each year. Health educators deliver the program to groups of students in grades 3-12 to build asthma self-management skills and knowledge about living well with asthma.

 To bring Fight Asthma Now to your school, contact Marc.



Lead our asthma programs

If you'd like to lead Asthma Management and Fight Asthma Now classes, attend our next facilitator training on Friday, June 15. The full-day workshop includes training to lead Asthma Management and Fight Asthma Now, and a half-day option is available for those interested in only leading Asthma Management courses. 

Reserve your space today by completing our registration form.

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