Seattle Family Fights Asthma

October 01, 2009

Seattle Family Fights Asthma

Throughout her life, Vera Page never experienced any respiratory issues. So, it was quite a shock when she found out that her son, Valentino, was in danger from one of the most serious breathing disorders imaginable, asthma.
Page thought her son was suffering from a severe chest cold, and was treating it as best as she could. It wasn’t until a trusted friend from her church suggested that it might be more serious that she took Valentino to get checked out.

“I just thought he had a really bad chest cold or something,” Page said. “I took him to the hospital, and they said he had pneumonia and that he had asthma. That’s when we found out.”

The diagnosis led page to start thinking about things people had said about her daughter, Vernita, who is older than Valentino. People had commented on Vernita’s breathing or coughing and said they thought her chest was tight.

“After Valentino had recovered well enough from his hospital stay, I took both of them in for an asthma check, and they said she had asthma too,” Page said.

Page’s youngest son, Nikko, is being closely monitored for asthma as well. He hasn’t had to go on asthma medication yet, but he is being tested and it looks like he may be suffering from the disease as well.

Asthma hasn’t stopped Page or her kids, but it certainly opened her eyes. While attending the annual Resource Fair in Seattle, Page spotted a display from the American Lung Association (ALA) about green cleaning supplies. Being a mother of children with asthma, she was immediately drawn to it and began a relationship with the ALA.
The ALA actually visited Page in her home to give her some tips about things she could do to help keep the home environment as clean as possible. The ALA also provided page with some green cleaning supplies and a door mat, mattress covers and pillow cases that reduce allergens.

“They were able to inform us about some of the things we were doing that could trigger asthma, like using comet,” Page said. That’s something I like to use. I’m a comet person. They were able to educate us on the use of chlorine bleach, how it emits gasses, even when the cap is on the bottle. You just don’t want things like that in the environment if you’re trying to keep the asthmatic episodes down to a minimum.”

Much like Chris Draft, Page’s kids are athletes, and they haven’t let asthma keep them from participating. Before playing baseball, Valentino uses his nebulizer, which keeps him from having an attack. Vernita keeps her inhaler with her during volleyball games, which helps keep her asthma under control.

“The kids need to be able to dream or believe that they will be able to do those things, that they’re not a slave to the asthma,” Page said.

Draft was able to speak with Page recently to shed a little light on participating in sports while suffering from asthma. She was impressed with the way he handled the challenges of attempting to participate in team sports while suffering from the disease.

“Especially with boys, they want to think that they can do those sports,” Page said. “They see the football players and basketball players on TV, and they have their own dreams and ambitions like anybody does, but they’re challenged with asthma. Then, you get to talk to someone that’s actually doing it. The asthma is there. It’s real. He was able to offer me a little insight into the challenges he faces. It kind of gave some perspective.
“It made me feel that the dream of your child participating in those sports could come true. You’re not only hearing about athletes with it, but you’re actually talking to someone that has it. They’re able to manage it, even with the challenges. It was good to hear.”