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Breath Takes: Summer 1999

Summer, 1999
Vol. 6, No. 1

This is a portion of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County's 1998 Breath Takes. ?If you would like to receive a complete copy, please call the American Lung Association at
or (800) LUNG-USA.

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What's the #1 thing 10 year old Valerie Rios learned at Asthma Camp? "Take your inhaler!" she said. But what was her favorite thing about camp? "Telling scary stories," said Valerie. "And learning to canoe," said Katherine Shober, also 10 and sitting next to Valerie. The 22nd annual Asthma Camp, held July 18 - July 23, allowed almost 100 Los Angeles County children with moderate to severe asthma the opportunity to enjoy a sleep-over camping experience at beautiful Big Bear Lake. Most camps will not accept children with asthma due to their special medical needs. Asthma Camp is different. Staff from Barlow Respiratory Hospital provides round-the-clock medical care, and kids also have asthma education classes, along with traditional camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, and hiking. The asthma education classes teach children how to control their asthma so they can lead a healthy, normal life.

"As I tell my kids, if you've learned one thing about your asthma this week, it's a success," said Michael Wagner, nursing supervisor at Barlow Respiratory Hospital.

He's part of a 13-memher team that includes a doctor, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists. Some of the children at camp must take as many as six or seven different medications to control their asthma. "We had one boy who needed medication every hour the first day," said Wagner. "But by Wednesday, he was well enough to go on the night hike, and now he's having a great time." That's what Asthma Camp is all about -- giving children a chance to run, jump and play like other kids, and not worry about having an asthma episode.

Asthma Camp is made possible by Barlow Respiratory Hospital, who gives an annual grant and staff, the Los Angeles Times Camp Fund, and donations from private individuals. Thanks to Margaret Crane, CEO of Barlow, and to all who made Asthma Camp possible this year.

(Updated 10/05/99)

When You Can't Breathe, Nothing Else Matters ?
The mission of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County
is to prevent and eliminate lung disease
and to improve the quality of life and health of those with lung disease.
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? 1999 American Lung Association of Los Angeles County

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