My Love/Hate Relationship with Singulair

The good news is that my 13 year old son’s asthma has been well controlled since re-starting Singulair. The heat and humidity have changed into mostly flawless fall weather days. The air quality has improved greatly. Things are looking up on the asthma front.

But with the good, there is always bad. Singulair can cause mood problems in teens, although the doctors tell us it is rare. As if teens need any more mood problems!! So while we rejoice that the Singulair has worked, we nervously watch our son for signs and try not to be overly paranoid. Additionally, the last time we tried Singulair, he started having blood pressure issues. We never fully understood what was causing that problem. They thought it might have related to the strep infection he had at the time, as well as anxiety-induced high blood pressure. I made the decision to get rid of the Singulair in case it was the problem. His blood pressure got better. We moved on.

But since he was struggling so much this football season, our new doctor suggested trying it again. My son wanted to try it again. So we did and it has so far been a success. We have monitored his blood pressure at home, when we remember. So we watch for blood pressure problems and moodiness. But at least he can breathe and play football.

I share this not for pity…but to see if anyone I know has any experience with Singulair and their children? Good or bad? It’s so interesting how I used to hate medicine and avoid even Tylenol unless I had to have it. Since having asthma, I have changed my tune and am so grateful for these life-saving drugs and the people who make them. Unfortunately, if we want to breathe, we also have to deal with their scary side effects, not to mention their high costs. But when your kid says, “Mom, can I please take it? It helped so much last time,” you say yes. Because you just want him to be well.


Sports Illustrated’s “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century” Jackie Joyner-Kersee

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Olympic triple Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee became the world’s top woman athlete in the heptathlon and long-jump competitions, despite severe asthma.

While she was a top student-athlete at UCLA in the early 1980s, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was diagnosed with asthma. But she hid that fact from her coaches, afraid they would make her stop running.
“I was always told as a young girl that if you had asthma there was no way you could run, jump, or do the things I was doing athletically. So, I just knew it was impossible for me to have it. It took me a while to accept that I was asthmatic. It took me a while to even start taking my medication properly, to do the things that the doctor was asking me to do. I just didn’t want to believe that I was an asthmatic.
“But once I stopped living in denial, I got my asthma under control, and I realized that it is a disease that can be controlled. But there were things I had to do to get it under control.”
In 1984, Joyner-Kersee won the Olympic Silver Medal in the 7-event Heptathlon. In 1986, she was the first American woman to set a world record in a multi-event competition. In 1987, she was voted the Associated Press Athlete of the Year. In 1988, she won two Olympic Gold Medals. And in 1992, she won Olympic Gold and Bronze medals. Sports Illustrated voted Joyner-Kersee “The Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.”
“The most important thing is to be able to run, jump, and get up in the morning and see my family and do different things,” she says. “And to do that, I have to take my medicines regularly. This disease can be controlled.”
Since her days as an athlete, Joyner-Kersee has accomplished much as a philanthropist and tireless advocate for children’s education and health issues (including asthma), among other areas of interest. She was also featured in the National Library of Medicine’s Breath of Life exhibition on the history of asthma.

Teddy Roosevelt, Asthma, Sports, and a Presidency

American President

A Reference Resource

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Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, and grew up in New York City, the second of four children. His father, Theodore, Sr., was a well-to-do businessman and philanthropist. His mother, Martha “Mittie” Roosevelt, was a Southerner, raised on a plantation in Georgia.

“Teedie” grew up surrounded by the love of his parents and siblings. But he was always a sickly child afflicted with asthma. As a teenager, he decided that he would “make his body,” and he undertook a program of gymnastics and weight-lifting, which helped him develop a rugged physique. Thereafter, Roosevelt became a lifelong advocate of exercise and the “strenuous life.” He always found time for physical exertions including hiking, riding horses, and swimming.
As a young boy, Roosevelt was tutored at home by private teachers. He traveled widely through Europe and the Middle East with his family during the late 1860s and early 1870s, once living with a host family in Germany for five months. In 1876, he entered Harvard College, where he studied a variety of subjects, including German, natural history, zoology, forensics, and composition. He also continued his physical endeavors, taking on boxing and wrestling as new pursuits.
During college, Roosevelt fell in love with Alice Hathaway Lee, a young woman from a prominent New England banking family he met through a friend at Harvard. They were married in October 1880. Roosevelt then enrolled in Columbia Law School, but dropped out after one year to begin a career in public service. He was elected to the New York Assembly and served two terms from 1882 to 1884.
A double tragedy struck Roosevelt in 1884. On February 12th, Alice gave birth to a daughter, Alice Lee. Two days later, Roosevelt’s mother died of typhoid fever and his wife died of kidney disease within a few hours of each other—and in the same house. For the next few months, a devastated Roosevelt threw himself into political work to escape his grief. Finally, he left his daughter in the care of his sister and fled to the Dakota Badlands.
Once out West, Roosevelt soaked in the frontier lifestyle. He bought two ranches and a thousand head of cattle. He flourished in the hardships of the western frontier, riding for days, hunting grizzly bears, herding cows as a rancher, and chasing outlaws as a frontier sheriff. Roosevelt headed back East in 1886; a devastating winter the following year wiped out most of his cattle. Although he would frequent the Dakota Badlands in subsequent years to hunt, he was ready leave the West and return to his former life.
One of the reasons he did so was because of a rediscovered love with his childhood sweetheart, Edith Kermit Carow. The two were married in England in 1886 and moved to Oyster Bay, New York, into a house known as Sagamore Hill. In addition to raising Roosevelt’s first child, Alice, he and Edith had five children: Theodore, Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin.
Renewed Political Spirit
After returning to New York, Roosevelt continued his writing career, which began with the publication of his book, The Naval War of 1812, in 1882. He wrote a number of books during this period, including The Life of Thomas Hart Benton (1887), The Life of Gouverneur Morris (1888), and The Winning of the West (four volumes, 1889-1896).
Roosevelt also resumed his political career by running unsuccessfully for mayor of New York City in 1886. In 1888, he campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Benjamin Harrison. When Harrison won the election, he appointed Roosevelt to the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Roosevelt was re-appointed to the Commission by Democratic President Grover Cleveland in 1893. As commissioner, he worked hard to enforce the civil service laws, although he regularly clashed with party regulars and politicians who wanted him to ignore the law in favor of patronage.
Roosevelt served dutifully as a commissioner until he accepted the presidency of the New York City Police Board in 1895. He demonstrated honesty in office, much to the displeasure of party bosses. He also cleaned up the corrupt Police Board and strictly enforced laws banning the sale of liquor on the Sabbath.
In 1897, the newly elected Republican President, William McKinley, appointed Roosevelt assistant secretary of the Navy. Roosevelt had long believed in the importance of the Navy and the role it played in national defense. As acting secretary of the Navy, he responded to the explosion of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898 by putting the Navy on full alert. (See McKinley biography, Foreign Affairs section, for details.) Roosevelt instructed Commodore George Dewey to make ready for war with Spain by taking the necessary steps for bottling up the Spanish squadron in Asian waters. He also asked Dewey to prepare for the probable invasion of the Philippines.
The Rough Riders
When the Spanish-American War began, Roosevelt resigned as assistant secretary of the Navy and volunteered for service as commander the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, a unit known as the Rough Riders—an elite company comprised of Ivy League gentlemen, western cowboys, sheriffs, prospectors, police officers, and Native Americans. Once in Cuba, Roosevelt distinguished himself by leading them on a charge—on foot—up San Juan Hill (actually Kettle Hill) on the outskirts of Santiago. The contingent suffered heavy casualties.
The Rough Riders returned to the United States as war heroes. Their varied backgrounds, colorful leader, and bravery on the battlefield brought them considerable attention. Roosevelt personally reveled in his time in the military. He later wrote about his military exploits: “I would rather have led that charge and earned my colonelcy than served three terms in the United States Senate. It makes me feel as though I could now leave something to my children which will serve as an apology for my having existed.”
Roosevelt returned home a war hero and caught the eye of Republican leaders in New York who were looking for a gubernatorial candidate. He agreed to run for governor against a popular Democrat, Judge Augustus van Wyck, the candidate of Tammany Hall. Roosevelt carried the election by just a few thousand votes; his victory stemmed largely from the work of the state’s Republican Party boss, Thomas C. Platt, who threw the full support of his political machine behind the hero of San Juan Hill. Although Platt and Roosevelt had agreed to consult each other on matters of policy and patronage, the new governor was his own man. TR steadfastly refused to appoint party regulars as State Insurance Commissioner or Public Works Commissioner—the two most important patronage jobs in the state.
When Governor Roosevelt supported a bill for the taxation of the value and assets of public services (gas, water, electric, and streetcars), his actions led to an explosive break with Platt. Almost overnight the insurance companies, the construction contractors, and the privately owned public service corporations realized that all the money they were contributing to Platt’s political machine brought them little if any influence with Governor Roosevelt.
Boss Platt knew that something had to be done with the governor before he completely destroyed the Republican state machine. Consulting with Mark Hanna, the top Republican political boss in the nation, Platt conspired to “kick [Roosevelt] upstairs” to the vice presidency in 1900. (Vice President Garret Hobart had just died in office.) This would keep Roosevelt from running for a second term in New York (the governorship was a two-year term in those days). Roosevelt reluctantly agreed, persuaded that the vice presidency might lead to a shot at the White House in 1904. He also knew that the party bosses had rigged the convention, making it nearly impossible for him to avoid being nominated.
1900 Vice Presidential Campaign
The Republican convention nominated TR by acclamation. Thereafter, Roosevelt campaigned furiously for the Republican presidential candidate, William McKinley, matching his Democratic opponents, William Jennings Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson, move for move. Roosevelt traveled more than 21,000 miles on a special campaign train, making hundreds of speeches, and more than three million people saw him in person. He spoke in 567 cities in twenty-four states. “Tis Tiddy alone that’s running,” observed Mr. Dooley (a press columnist who used an exaggerated Irish accent to make political observations) “an’ he ain’t a runnin’, he’s gallopin’.”
The Republican ticket overwhelmed the Democrats, racking up an 861,757 vote plurality, the largest Republican victory in years. McKinley won the popular vote of 7.2 million (292 Electoral College votes) to Bryan’s 6.3 million (155 Electoral College votes). McKinley won his bid for reelection over Bryan by an even larger margin than he had garnered in 1896.
In September 1901, however, an assassin’s bullet killed President McKinley (see McKinley biography, Death of the President section). This tragedy put Theodore Roosevelt (“that damned cowboy”—according to Mark Hanna, the top Republican political boss in the nation) in the White House as the nation’s twenty-sixth President. He was the youngest person ever to serve in that capacity. Neither the nation nor the presidency would ever be the same again.

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Good Asthma Resources Are a Parent’s Best Friend

A wonderful (albeit 10 years old) resource that helped me early on…I am still learning every single day but this book was a good starting point. Asthma feels like you’re breathing through a straw. Now add playing a sport on top of that and you get some seriously tough kids! Often they are looked at as “weak” because of their medical condition, but they are the toughest kids you’ll ever meet.


AJC Update on Respiratory Virus

Midwest respiratory virus spreads; here’s what you should know

By Matt Picht

Video transcript provided by
The rare respiratory virus that’s hospitalizing children across the country continues to spread: 12 states have now alerted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of possible outbreaks. (Video via KMGH)
The virus, identified as enterovirus D68, was first reported in the Midwest but now might have spread as far east as North Carolina. It’s sent hundreds of children to the hospital with flulike symptoms and breathing problems; some even had to be put it intensive care units. (Video via KSHB)
But what is enterovirus D68, and how worried about it should we be? Here’s what we know so far.
>> Read more trending stories
First, the basics: enterovirus D68 is a rare strain of enterovirus, a common type of virus which hits 10 to 15 million people in the U.S. every year. Usually, these infections result in nothing more than a strong cold, but this particular version has caused some nasty respiratory symptoms — very young or asthmatic children are particularly at risk from this virus. (Video via Fox News)
Previous outbreaks were confined to small clusters of people; this is the first mass outbreak of the virus on record. One scientist told The Washington Post, “We speculate that this virus in the past 10 to 15 years has sort of evolved into different sub types. … Maybe it has mutated into something that is more easily transmissible, I don’t know if that is the case but it’s certainly possible.”
There’s no specific vaccine or treatment, but health officials say the disease can be prevented by common-sense hygiene — washing your hands and avoiding sick people will go a long way towards stopping the spread.
>> RELATED: Respiratory virus affecting thousands across U.S.
And despite all the scary images this outbreak is generating, a contributor for The Daily Beast thinks the panic is a little overblown. He points to the last time this virus raised its head back in February, when it was linked to partial paralysis.
“That outbreak, too, flashed brilliantly across the headlines and created a similar legion of terrified parents who called worn-down pediatricians for support. Now, months later, few even recall that winter panic.”
Fortunately, the illness isn’t fatal; so far, no one has died during this outbreak, and most children who might have contracted the virus have recovered.

NPR Article Warns of Respiratory Virus; Children With Asthma Suffer Worst

CDC Warns Of Fast-Spreading Enterovirus Afflicting Children
September 08, 2014 4:02 PM ET

Cyrus McCrimmon/Denver Post/Getty Images
A rarely seen virus is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory infections, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors and parents to be on the alert.

“Hospitalizations are higher than would be expected at this time of year,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of infectious diseases for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday at a press briefing on enterovirus 68. “The situation is evolving quickly.”

In August, health officials in Illinois and Missouri reported a surge in emergency room visits for severe respiratory illnesses in Chicago and Kansas City. That surge is continuing. Enterovirus 68 has been identified in 19 of 22 people tested in Kansas City, and 11 of 14 cases in Chicago. The sick patients have all been children and teenagers, and 68 percent have a history of asthma or wheezing, according to a report published Monday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. No one is known to have died.

So far about a dozen states have reported higher-than-usual numbers of severe respiratory infections, and the CDC is working with them to figure out if EV-68 is to blame, Schuchat says. “This is a very dynamic situation, an unusual virus, and we’re just beginning to understand it.”

Some patients have become sick enough to end up in the intensive care unit on oxygen. Many have wheezing, even those who don’t have asthma.

Enteroviruses are very common, with 10 to 15 million infections in the United States year. They usually cause mild illness, if they make people sick at all.

But EV-68 is a rarer critter. It was first identified in California in 1962, but then was almost never seen until 2009 to 2012, when there were outbreaks in Japan, the Philippines and the Netherlands, and small clusters of cases in the United States.

Sophia Jarvis, 4, of Berkeley, Calif., is one of the few children diagnosed with the polio-like disease, which left her arm paralyzed. She attended a press conference Monday at Stanford University with her dad, Jeff.
Shots – Health News
Overlooked Virus May Be Cause Of Paralyzing Disease In California
The strain of the virus in these current cases is not new, Schuchat says, and is the same as earlier EV-68 cases in the United States and in other countries. It’s unclear why it’s making people sicker and how it’s spreading, but respiratory viruses spread very easily. Cold season typically peaks in September when children return to school, and the enterovirus cases may be following a similar pattern.

Parents shouldn’t worry about runny noses and sniffles, Schuchat says, but act quickly if their child has difficulty breathing. “This can be a scary thing to hear about for parents,” Schuchat says. “If your child is having difficulty breathing you want to get medical attention.”

And parents of children with asthma should make extra-sure that the children are taking medications and the asthma is well controlled, she adds.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for EV-68.

In 2014, five children in California suffered a polio-like illness that left an arm or leg paralyzed. Two of those children tested positive for EV-68. There have been no reports of paralysis or other neurological system in the current cases, Schuchat said Monday.

“I can’t say if we’ll be seeing this in many more states or not,” Schuchat concluded. “It’s just too soon to say.”


Hi friends! I created this website and the accompanying Facebook page to try to provide support to athletes (and their families) who are battling and beating asthma in Coweta County. Asthma is one of those medical conditions that affect individuals differently; however, all athletes with asthma still share a similar experience. By sharing our triumphs and challenges, we can help ourselves and others and feel less alone.

Kids with Asthma Can Play Sports

Kids with Asthma Can Play Sports

By: Claire Gagné

Forget the stereotype of the wheezy, wimpy kid puffing on an inhaler. Young athletes prove that you can be a winner in sports – even with asthma.

Since being diagnosed with asthma when he was 4 years old, Brett Favaro has suffered pneumonia and bronchitis, asthma attacks, and been to numerous doctors. Now 22, he still has a nebulizer, a machine that delivers asthma medication in a fine mist through a facemask, in his bedroom.

But if you’re picturing a skinny kid, wheezing on the sidelines, you’ve got the wrong guy. Favaro was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, culminating with a stint as captain of the varsity swim team at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He’s also competed in cross-country running, taken tae kwon do lessons, and played basketball. Plus, he’s an avid weightlifter. Favaro says that with the support of his doctor, “I was able to do everything that everyone else did. I just had to be more mindful of my ability to breathe than other people.”

Growing up, Favaro achieved what experts say is possible for all asthmatic kids. “If they have good control, they can be competitive to any level,” says Dr. Brian Lyttle, a pediatric respirologist in London, Ontario. Good control usually means taking a corticosteroid (such as Flovent or Pulmicort) every day to reduce inflammation, minimizing exposure to triggers such as cigarette smoke and allergens, and having a fast-acting reliever puffer on hand in case of an asthma attack.

While exercise is important for everyone, it plays a special role for people who have asthma. “The better shape you’re in, the better your lungs function,” says Dr. Michael Clarfield, a sports medicine specialist and former team physician for the Toronto Maple Leafs. “When you’re getting diminished function from your asthma, the more function you had to start with, the better off you will be.”

Dr. Alan Kaplan, a doctor in Richmond Hill, Ontario who chairs the Family Physician Airways Group of Canada, looks at it this way: “Exercising will teach your muscles to learn to work with what you’ve got. So even if you do have lung impairment, it’s still important to exercise and to teach your muscles to be able to exercise even at lower oxygen levels.”

It’s not that asthmatic kids should ignore their symptoms and push themselves into respiratory distress; rather, with the right combination of medications, and in a supportive environment with minimal triggers, all kids with the disease should be able to reach their athletic goals.

Katherine Smith, 14, a Canadian whose family lives in Phoenix, has certainly not let asthma deter her athletic pursuits. A bout with pneumonia at age 1 left her with diminished lung function, and she also has bad seasonal allergies. When she was about 9 years old, her parents noticed she had difficulty breathing when she ran or played sports at school. “If she had to do anything that required any endurance, all of a sudden she was gasping for air,” says her dad, Doug Smith.

With the right medications and a good attitude, Katherine has thrived. She pitches for a competitive softball team that placed ninth out of 70 teams at last year’s U.S. national championships. “She treats the asthma meds as something ‘I’ve just got to do to prepare,’ ” says Smith, “like going to conditioning class, or to her trainer.”

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NFL Players Beating Asthma

Professional Football Players Tackle Asthma with the Asthma Team™
Players Will Serve as Captains of the National Asthma Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2010)—
The Chris Draft Family Foundation (CDFF) and the American Lung Association are working together to recognize families who are tackling asthma by sharing the stories of their battles. Now, professional football players have joined the cause to become captains of the CDFF’s Asthma Team™ and tell their own stories of fighting asthma. Participating players from NFL teams are joining families nationwide to highlight the diversity of the fight against asthma and to inspire those with the disease to keep fighting. These NFL players include linebackers Chris Draft, Larry English and Larry Grant; defensive linemen Leonard Little, Adam Carriker and Gary Gibson; cornerback Ellis Lankster, and safeties Corey Chavous and Haruki Nakamura.

For the past three years, the CDFF and the American Lung Association have worked together to recognize families for their fight against asthma. The CDFF is expanding its work with local Lung Associations nationwide by arranging for Chris Draft and other players to speak with families and encourage them to keep tackling asthma.

“The most important thing for people with asthma to know is that they can take control of the disease and properly manage their symptoms,” said Chris Draft, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and Founder of the Chris Draft Family Foundation and Asthma Team. “By enlisting the help of other NFL players who have overcome their disease to become successful professional athletes, we are helping spread the message that asthma is manageable and doesn’t have to hold you back.”

Draft is a 12-year NFL veteran and has battled asthma since college. He also serves as the National Spokesman for the Winning with Asthma campaign, working with the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association.

“The Asthma Team partnership with professional football players is so important to young kids because it shows them they can take control of their asthma and live a healthy, active life,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO. “We are grateful to these players for creating awareness about asthma and the importance of having good asthma management skills to improve one’s quality of life. As the 2009 football season comes to a close, we are just beginning to establish these valuable relationships through the Asthma Team.”

The Asthma Team™ is comprised of more than 23 million people that have asthma and their friends and family that are helping them tackle asthma. The team seeks to inspire, educate and recognize those that are tackling asthma or helping someone they know fight the disease. If you have asthma, or care for someone that does, you are already on the Asthma Team™. To learn more about the Asthma Team™, the NFL Captains or the Winning with Asthma campaign, visit the Asthma Team™ website at

The American Lung Association has a number of resources to help people determine their level of asthma control, and take steps to improve their asthma management and breathe easier. To learn how to take control of asthma, visit

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Athletes With Asthma

Athletes With Asthma

Former NFL star Jerome Bettis has battled asthma since he was 15.

Even with asthma, Kaitlin Sandeno set world records in swimming.

Asthma is a condition that affects 17 million people in the United States alone. Each year, 5,000 people die from the condition annually. But having asthma doesn’t mean they can’t excel at sports. Here are two professional athletes that prove you can beat your illness.

Jerome Bettis

The way Jerome “The Bus” Bettis used to effortlessly plow through defenses, you would never know he had asthma. The Bus ended up having a storybook 12-year NFL career, which including six Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl championship in 2006. Jerome was diagnosed with asthma when he was 15 years old. Bettis admits that he was concerned that he would no longer play sports, but his parents encouraged him to keep playing football but also listen to the doctors. Bettis maintained an effective asthma program throughout high school, but admits to being lazy about it after that. That almost cost him his life, as he had a serious asthma attack during an NFL game in 1997. After that scare, Bettis started taking his ailment more seriously and now serves as an advocate for handing asthma responsibly. He is part of the Asthma All-Stars Program – which encourages people to live lives with asthma without limits. It also teaches people to work with a doctor to create an asthma action plan.

Jerome Says…
“A lot of times, asthmatics don’t understand control. They may think their condition is not that bad. But asthma is so unpredictable. …I’m urging people with asthma to confer with their doctors to get a game plan.”

Kaitlin Sandeno
Kaitlin Sandeno is one of the best swimmers on the planet. She was part of the U.S. 800-meter freestyle relay team that won gold and set a world record at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. At those Olympics, she also won a silver and bronze medal in individual events. The 25-year-old California native, first discovered she had asthma as a 12-year-old. But with hard work and good medical care, Kaitlin is a world class athlete. She is currently a spokeswoman for asthma awareness and the perfect role model for young athletes with the medical condition.

Kaitlin Says…
“Nobody’s really educated about asthma and I’m really glad I can help spread awareness. It’s great to be able to tell people, ‘I’m an Olympic athlete and I can still pursue an athletic career.’ I really enjoy talking about it and doing on-camera interviews, because that’s something I want to do after my swim career.”

Other Athletes With Asthma
Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Legendary female track athlete who won six medals throughout her Olympic career.
Dennis Rodman – One of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. Rodman also won six NBA championships.
Amy Van Dyken – A six-time Olympic gold medal winner in swimming. She has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, Time and USA Today.

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Read more: Athletes With Asthma | Overcoming | Jerome Bettis | Dennis Rodman | Kaitlin Sandeno
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