Growing up, I wasn’t really aware what asthma really was except that it was most of my classmates reasons why they were absent in class. Luckily, no one in our family suffers from it. And so, I tied the knot and married my husband who unfortunately, had it ever since he was a kid. Each time, he’ll suffer from cough next thing I know, he’s already having an asthma attack. His inhaler is a staple in his bag most especially when we travel out of the country. But, he never let this condition stop him from doing sports activities like basketball. Yes, he’s an amazing basketball player and yearly joins basketball leagues in his work, former school and here in our village.
Just like my husband, there are other known personalities who have asthma like Kim Chiu, Arnel Pineda and Michael Christian Martinez. They are the living-proof that you can still achieve and fulfill your dreams even when you suffer from it.
In line with this, GSK launches the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015. The campaign aims to choose and recognize 10 young asthmatic achievers from different walks of life.
The advocacy likewise introduces Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez as the new face of the campaign. Martinez, an asthmatic, began experiencing asthmatic bronchitis when he was just two months old.
He recalls being in the hospital frequently and says the cold rink actually helped improve his health. “Year after year my health keeps improving, so my mother fully supported me to continue skating saying it’s better to spend the money on skating than in the hospital.”
The program is a nationwide search for young asthmatic achievers aged 30 years and younger who are outstanding in their respective fields despite having asthma and inspire asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against asthma.
The rationale for the target age group is driven by the fact that asthma is one of the most important chronic disease during childhood causing substantial morbidity1. Uncontrolled asthma is associated with a reduced lung function, impaired performance in physical exercise, and impaired quality of life. More severe asthma leads to more frequent school absenteeism which may negatively affectan individual’s level of education and, possibly, choice of career. People within this age group are in the process of developing the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve their goals in life and asthma should not deter them from realizing their full potential. Thus it is necessary at this early stage to raise their awareness on asthma and how they can win against it.
Search for Winners Against Asthma Important Details:
- The Search for Winners Against Asthma will run from February until May 2015 and will be touring different schools and drugstore outlets to spread the advocacy and invite more people to join the campaign.
- The deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2015. All entries will be screened during the first week of April. As we celebrate World Asthma Day on May 5, the top 20 finalists will be announced and will be immediately followed by online voting. The top 10 Winners Against Asthma will be announced and awarded by the 3rd week of May 2015.
- This advocacy campaign is supported by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI), Huawei and Folded & Hung.
Asthma can be a serious condition but it can be controlled. Access to doctors and treatment has been shown to significantly decrease asthma deaths and hospitalizations.8 People with asthma can lead normal and active lives. They can even excel.
WIN AGAINST ASTHMA TODAY
In February 2014, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched Win Against Asthma Today — an integrated advocacy campaign aimed at increasing awareness and amplify existing efforts to spread information about asthma and how it can be managed.
The campaign also encourages patients to consult their doctors and discuss the best way to manage their asthma.
A lot of asthma patients do not realise that they are settling by accepting as normal the lifestyle restrictions resulting from uncontrolled asthma. Patients unnecessarily accept symptoms, assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are an inevitable consequence of having asthma. They may feel that although current treatments can alleviate their asthma symptoms, they just need to accept and bear that it normally happens. This is where the partnership and constant consult with their doctors become very important.
To prove that the disease should not be a deterrent from living one’s life to the fullest, real asthma patients were invited to provide testimonies of their experiences and how won against the illness. Celebrity asthmatics, Kim Chiu and Arnel Pineda became the featured ambassadors for the first wave of the campaign.
As more asthma patients become aware that they can win against asthma just like Kim and Arnel, the campaign aims to strengthen its pool of ambassadors to continuously inspire more patients to take control of their asthma.
For more information please visit http://www.facebook.com/winagainstasthma.