Thursday, October 8, 2009

In the mail at last! New issue of Allergy & Asthma Today magazine

AANMA is jumping for joy!! Allergy & Asthma Today magazine is in the mail! I feel a little like Neville (Steve Martin) in “The Jerk,” delirious upon receiving his copy of the Yellow Pages phone book at his front door. Why? Oh, my! Well…

Not only is this issue one of my top favorites, it almost didn’t get printed! This summer, our six-year-old servers collapsed and self-destructed - including our antiquated backup system. We lost EVERYTHING. Yup. Everything. Sparing you the gory details, we were able to piece things back together thanks to some very creative people at OSSI and our diligent staff. But it took time and working blind while continuing to provide members services as if nothing had ever happened.

The sleepless nights… If things hadn’t come together when they did, we wouldn’t have been able to share Juanita Rembert’s cover story, "Juanita’s Determined: Six Generations of Asthma Stop Here," and her mission to spare other urban Chicago families the same fate as her 21-year-old granddaughter, Tamika, who died of asthma while pregnant with her second child, leaving a two-year-old son with severe asthma and a grieving family with aching hearts. Learn more about the campaign “STOP ASTHMA DEATHS NOW” and how you can get involved.

Also featured is The AANMA Challenge: Planning to Win. It’s your blueprint (a.k.a. customizable written asthma action plan) to getting and keeping asthma symptoms under control. It’s a MUST-HAVE for every adult and child with asthma. Planning to Win was published with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and contains all the important details that generic asthma action plans leave out. Written by AANMA’s staff and medical advisory board, Planning to Win is for real people who are serious about shutting the door to asthma and moving on with their lives.

I am so glad we got this issue published because John Walsh, Co-Founder of the COPD Foundation, shares his inspiring story of how he and his identical twin brother learned they both had Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic disorder that leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD). Not all that wheezes or causes shortness of breath is asthma, even when symptoms may be very similar. Few people write or talk about it better than John.

If this issue of Allergy & Asthma Today had not gone to print, we’d be hard-pressed to tell the full story of Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill 2009: We’re on a mission…to STOP ASTHMA DEATHS NOW! We’re asking members of Congress to fix federal and state health policies – currently, some of these policies deny Medicaid patients adequate care and access to allergists and other specialists and medications consistent with NIH Asthma Guidelines. With healthcare reform debates in full swing, we need your willingness and financial support to make sure that no matter what happens in this process, people with asthma, allergies and related conditions do not suffer.

So I am thankful – yes, giddy - that the magazine is out! I am delighted our sponsors and advertisers have been patient: The American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, PURE Allergy Friendly Rooms for Your Next Hotel Stay, AeroChamber Plus Holding Chamber (Forest Pharmaceuticals / Lupin Pharmaceuticals and Monaghan Medical), OcuFresh Eye Wash (at your local pharmacy without a prescription), Allergy Zone’s NIOSH N95 Disposable Respiratory with Exhalation Valve (not just for flu protection – you can actually breathe while mowing the lawn and wearing one of these), NIOX MINO, The Childhood Asthma Control Test by GlaxoSmithKline and our Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill sponsors: The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; ExxonMobil; TEVA; Schering-Plough; Genentech; Novartis; Aerocrine; and ImmunoCAP.

It’s incredibly wonderful to have everything back up and running, and even better knowing that through the process, good friends were by our side.


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