Josh Suttenberg: Tackling Asthma in Long Island, NY

December 03, 2009

Josh Suttenberg: Tackling Asthma in Long Island, NY

Chris Draft and the Draft Family Foundation are committed to the mission of strengthening communities to live healthy lifestyles through a national movement of self-awareness and education.  However, Draft realizes that although efforts towards this mission can begin with his Foundation, that it also takes the efforts and commitment of others that share in this same goal.  The Draft Family Foundation seeks partnerships with local and national community health organizations, school districts and non-profits across the country, striving to empower and uplift communities by educating and equipping families to make healthier choices.

However, in some cases, it simply takes the passion of one person to help empower others, and that one could be a 12 year old boy with Asthma.  Josh Suttenberg has battled asthma since he was only 7 months old.  What once started as croup in his infant years, now has Josh taking medications on a daily basis to prevent any asthma attacks.  Fortunately, the seventh grade student has done a great job with managing his asthma, with his last attack being only a minor one in October; but it took for Josh to educate hisself, his school, and now others on the awareness of living a life with asthma.

His mother, Jill Suttenberg stated, "I taught Josh at a very young age the responsibilities of asthma and how to trust in what he feels when I wasn't around."  But Mrs. Suttenberg did not stop there.  Having to keep Josh home from school in the past because his coughing from the asthma would disrupt the classroom, she became pro-active in educating his particular school on how to better treat Josh's condition as well as other classmates with asthma, so that they too could live normal daily lives.  She stated, "It amazes me that some schools do not have nebulizer machines for children with asthma....." and just recently that included  Josh's school as well, but after talking with the school's administration,  Jill Suttenberg made sure that his school now has one main machine and the students would just need to bring their own mouth piece to use it.

Taking that same stand from his mother, Josh decided to be a pro-advocate on asthma by joining the American Lung Association in New York and will be participating for his 4th year in the Annual Asthma & Lung Disease Walk Kick-off Event and Walk.  His mother continued, "I encouraged Josh to be pro-active by letting him know that it only takes one person to empower others because breathing is simply just not an optional activity."  So, wanting to take charge and not just sit back, Josh walks about 3.2 miles along with others to raise money for asthma.  His very first year Josh joked, "Sure, let's make all the people with asthma walk for miles," but understanding it's true importance, Josh and his entire family are committed and dedicated to walking each year and is striving to raise more than the $900.00 from last year at the walk on May 1, 2010.

Pro-athlete, Chris Draft admires Josh's stance for taking charge on something that he also battles with and feels strongly about himself.  So strongly in fact, that in his own attempt to tackle asthma, Chris Draft and the Draft Family Foundation, launched the Asthma Team™ in 2007.  His goal is to promote asthma awareness and education across the country.   And to accomplish this goal, Chris created a team, united by the common goal of Tackling Asthma™ by recruiting children for the Asthma Team™, and families to join in the battle in Tackling Asthma™. And for their efforts and participation, Chris recognizes every family in a special way.