Tomorrow and then in a months time there are two events in which people I know are running for a very special cause.
Tomorrow one of my younger brothers is running the London Marathon and then at the end of May team mates from my lacrosse team Capital are running the Edinburgh relay Marathon. They are both raising money for a really important cause and a cause that is so close to my heart. They are running for Asthma UK.
It is really distressing when I hear of friends and strangers dying as a result of an asthma attack and often attacks which should not have taken a life. You would not think that 3 people every day die from an asthma attack or that 1 in 10 people have asthma.
It is a sorry state of affairs when since 1998 there has only been 3 new drugs developed to treat asthma. One montelukast which I have been taking since it first came out is the only one which is widely available to all asthmatics whereas the other 2 are very specific drugs targeting specific cells such as eosinophils and IgE so are only used in those with very specific blood levels which meet the criteria. So not everyone can have it. In fact mepolizumab was first rejected by NICE (in England) as they felt it would not benefit enough people for the cost of each dose. It has now been approved.
Asthma UK recently released their Severe Asthma Report which highlighted that they are making head way with allergic asthma and new drugs are in the pipeline and research is being done in the basic science centre however this is only one type of asthma. For those like me who do not have allergic asthma we need to wait till there is more funding to allow more in depth research to discover the different phenotypes of asthma and how to manage those who are therapy resistant and very unstable.
I really do long for the day when asthma is taken as seriously as cancer and other disease which get a lot more media attention when asthma is just as devastating and it really should not be. Two thirds of asthma deaths are preventable. To put that in real terms out of Dawn, Emma and Rachel who all died from asthma attacks 2 of them should still be alive. It is shocking when you can put names to statistics. Parents have lost children, friends have lost friends, brothers have lost sisters, sisters have lost brothers, I could go on and on but so many people shouldn’t have lost people as a result of asthma.
I am so grateful to anyone who is running or taking part in events which raise not only money but also awareness for asthma and Asthma UK. I am fortunate to have benefitted directly from fund raising in many ways- I have taken part in weekends run by Asthma UK in which asthmatics get together and have education sessions and support for us, I have also been able to go to London to take part on brain storming sessions which Asthma UK have funded me to do. I have also benefited from research they have funded which has brought about new learning of asthma.
I really do long for a change in the understanding of asthma. I have been able to educate those around me about asthma but mainly because it is upfront and central, if you know me over a period of time I am going to disappear for a hospital admission or I am going to terrify you by having an asthma attack but this shouldn’t be the case. People shouldn’t need to be educated in how bad asthma can be. Everyone knows how bad cancer can be, how bad dementia an be but everyone just thinks asthma is what every second person has and a blue inhaler will fix it.
So please take a moment and either go to my brothers page: Paddy’s donation page
Or Capital Lacrosse Clubs page to donate to Asthma UK: Capital Lacrosse Fundraising page
Thank you in advance.