Asthma is topic for Rotary meeting

April 14, 2011|By Bruce Campbell
  • Joe Kroening, Rotary master of ceremonies, and Jill Arnstein, executive director of the American Lung Assn. in California. (photo by Bruce Campbell)
Joe Kroening, Rotary master of ceremonies, and Jill Arnstein,…

I was shocked to learn that nearly 1 million children in California have asthma. Did you know that asthma is the leading cause of missed school days for children?

Jill Arnstein, the executive director of the American Lung Assn. in California, was the featured speaker at the Crescenta-Cañada Rotary Club meeting two weeks ago to talk about lung ailments. She spoke about the effects of lung disease on children and adults in California. She really gave an excellent, but scary, analysis of the numbers of people affected by lung diseases. She also talked about the great work the association is doing in California to help cure lung diseases.

To help children battle asthma and become aware of what they can to do to ease the pain, the association has established a summer camp in San Diego County near the town of Julian. The camp is a week-long overnight experience for ages 8 to 14. The camp takes in 200 children for a week of education about their asthma, and the kids get to participate also in the fun activities of hiking, swimming, arts and crafts and archery.


The camp is staffed 24/7 with doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists to help ensure children receive proper treatment for their asthma during the week. Parents can feel at ease while their children are having a great time away at camp.

The cost to send each child to the camp for the week is $1,500, a sum that is paid by the lung association. Children are selected to attend the camp based upon their medical history, and the association reaches out with financial aid for many children from low-income families who would not be able to get the medical attention and camp experience without the association’s help.

Arnstein also talked about getting clean air quality here and the various lung diseases, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, that affect more than 1.6 million Californians. She explained their programs to develop smoke-free areas in nursing homes and day-care centers. Most of the financial support for the lung association’s programs comes from donations and fundraising activities.

She said that in addition to asking for direct donations to support their programs, the association is sponsoring the “Fight For Air Climb” on April 30. The climb is up the 63 stories to the top of the AON Center building in downtown Los Angeles. Are you ready to make the climb? They still have some space available. You can reserve your spot by calling the lung association.

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