Shared Stories

We all have a reason to fight for clean air. Check out some personal stories below that highlight the need for healthy, safe air, and click here to submit your own.

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I was diagnosed with lung cancer almost 8 years ago. Not much hope was given. Lots of prayer and study from my oncologist and surgeon makes me a lung cancer survivor. I need clean air, because one of my lungs was taken due to my cancer. I cannot afford to lose another lung. Read more...
I am 55-years-old, and I have had asthma since I was a child. I know all too well what this disease is and how it impacts your life, and it’s not good! I can’t do a lot of the things I want. For example, we have a hobby farm along with a few dogs and a parrot, and my husband must tend to our animals without me. I just want to help others with this disease, because I know how hard it can be to live with this asthma. Read more...
Hi, I'm a 64-year-old woman with health issues. One of my problems is breathing. I have Hypersensitive Pneumonitis that was caused by my sensitivity to pet birds I kept. I am now aware of how important clean air is to breathe. I stay inside as much as possible on bad air quality days. Read more...
I recently moved to Los Angeles and wanted to say the following: I do not need an air quality report to tell me that the air here is really, really, really bad. I felt it right away. I went for a walk here shortly after arriving and felt my eyes sting, and I can feel it when I breathe and of course, one can even see it. Read more...
The first time a doctor told me I had diminished lung capacity was during a routine physical back in 1996. At the time, I honestly wasn’t too worried. I was smoking cigarettes then, and the doctor encouraged me to quit. That was the first time I heard the term “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.” Read more...
Some memories stay with you in life. For me, I’ll always remember getting ready for my senior prom and having pictures taken with my dad. Unlike other senior prom pictures, my date and I weren’t posed awkwardly in a living room or standing alongside a limousine. My date and I – him in his tuxedo and me in my gown – went to visit my father in the hospital where he was being treated for lung cancer, and that’s where I posed for prom pictures with my dad. Read more...
I have two kids and don't want them to breath this polluted air. Read more...
I wrote a separate letter as a comment in support of Lydia R., so I now want to share a bit of my story as well. I grew up in Richmond, VA where city and factory pollution was rampant. Tobacco dust and other pollutants would be literally floating in the air at all times. I was hospitalized many times with severe asthma attacks. Read more...
As a respiratory therapist with 24 years of experience in the hospital setting, I have provided treatment to adults and children experiencing various respiratory conditions that are worsened by poor air quality. Read more...
No parent should lose their beautiful child to an acute asthma attack. We all need to do our part to clear the air from dangerous pollutants. My thoughts and prayers go out to Stephanie's family. http://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair Read more...
My asthmas started when I was six months old and first became sick with double pneumonia. From then on, my life has been full of wheezing and hospital stays. I even stopped breathing twice. I am now 64-years-old and have been struggling for the past 63 and a half years. Read more...
My husband was born with asthma, and I know so many wonderful people that suffer daily with the effects of asthma. Read more...
Lydia, my heart aches and soars for two entirely different reasons. Knowing your story already, I shouldn't be affected as much. However, Mike and I just read the story, and I am sitting here crying all over again just reliving your tragedy and all you and your family have been through. Read more...
I have COPD and know the fear and anxiety of not being able to catch my breath. Air pollution worsens my condition, so I have to stay inside when there are air warnings here in Columbus. Read more...
I would like clean air because I am on a ventilator and have COPD due to my muscular dystrophy. I need Ohio to have clean air so that I can simply breathe. Read more...
My mother died from pulmonary fibrosis. It is a particularly miserable disease that is almost always caused by environmental factors. She suffered and struggled to breathe. I am a respiratory therapist, but there was little I or anyone could do to help her. Read more...
“Today, we have a high ozone alert. People who have breathing difficulties should stay indoors. People who are aged or disabled should take precautions by staying in an air-conditioned place.” Read more...
I have asthma and cannot go outside when the air is dirty. Read more...
We have a choice: Clean air or more money for the polluting companies, which will bring more sickness and disease for our Ohio citizens. Read more...
I am 55 years old and have four children, three grandchildren, and a husband to whom I have been married almost 34 years. I also am a severe asthmatic. I want to remain an active part of my family, but this is often difficult because of my asthma. Read more...
The last time I ever saw my beautiful 15-year-old daughter Steph was when she left for school five and a half years ago. When the school called just a few hours later to tell me that Steph had been taken to the hospital, I was on the other line with my husband. Not knowing my husband had also answered his call waiting at that very moment to receive the same news from my daughter’s school, I was startled when I returned to the line to hear him shout, “Get to the hospital now! They just took Steph!” Read more...
Having been an asthmatic most of my life (I’m now 83-years-old), including experiencing regular bronchitis attacks, I know what clear air means. I know what it means to be able to draw a deep breath outdoors without wheezing or other discomfort. Read more...
My eight-year-old Lincoln has developed asthma because of the poor air quality here in Denton. We moved to Denton so I could finish my undergraduate degree, and within 3 months of living here, Lincoln was hospitalized for asthma. Something must be done to protect our children. He cannot play outside, because the air quality is so poor. I pray someone does something to help my kid and others just like him. Read more...
I suffer fromasthma. Over the 15 years that I have lived within a mile from the Santa MonicaAirport it has become much worse. What used to be seasonal asthma and allergiesis now practically a constant, and I am seriously considering leaving LosAngeles. Read more...
I’m 70 years old and have end stage lung disease. I have all three components—bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. Read more...
When I was a little girl, asthma was almost unheard of. Today, it seems that almost all of my friends have at least one child with asthma. Overall, I don’t understand the dramatic increase, but I do know that the quality of our air has a significant impact on our respiratory health. Read more...
Just had to share my story as a reminder to why clean air is so important. I do not smoke and have few allergies—save for ragweed and goldenrod. I had asthma as a child, but outside of an episode of asthmatic bronchitis over 20 years ago, I have had no problems... until now. Read more...
After I had undergone three surgeries at just three-years-old to try to help my breathing issues, I was diagnosed with asthma. Having asthma really restricted me from being a normal kid. I had many allergies including peanuts, pork, milk, dust, ragweed, and pollen among other things. I couldn’t go outside to play with my friends. All seasons were bad for me. Winter was cold and triggered my asthma; spring was bad because of all the blooming plants and pollen; summer was too hot; and autumn was hard on my asthma due to all the leaves falling. Read more...
I had seven COPD attacks last year as a result of the leaf and trash burning allowed within town limits of Victoria, VA. The smoke is so thick on some days that it gets into my home, and I breathe it all night. I have missed days from work; spent money on endless medications to clear up my exacerbations; and attended town meetings to try to get them to ban leaf burning. They say it is "too expensive" to dispose of the leaves with all the problems they have at the landfill. Read more...
We moved here to Fort Worth, TX eight years ago; it was hard due to the humidity. Last month my 16-year-oldson Cody and 14-year-old Duncan developed walking pneumonia. Now I am beginning to show signs of having pneumonia as are my two youngest sons Dawson and Sean, so I will be setting another doctor appointment for us on Monday. Read more...
My daughter Kaitlin has had asthma since she was 3 months old. She has been in PICU twice and hospitalized many times because of it. Read more...
I live in Idaho County and work in Nez Perce County. We see the airplanes dipping between the hills spraying the fields during the spring and fall to burn the stubble on the prairie. That smoke doesn't go straight up; it filters across into the valley area where I live. Read more...
My mother (a non-smoker) died in 2005 from lung cancer just before turning 58-years-old. My children will never know the incredible woman she was. Unfortunately, she only saw my son as an infant and died before my daughter was born. She left us too young. Air pollution affects your health whether you realize it or not. Read more...
I moved to Cincinnati from suburban Indiana in 2009. For the last 3 years I have ridden my bike for transportation since I didn't have a car. I've noticed that after just a 3 mile ride to downtown my legs are blackened, and the more I ride, the stickier and darker they become. The air feels hot and laden with particles and does not smell fresh. When I go back home, I feel much more comfortable breathing outside. I am concerned for people who are outside all day! Read more...
Every day I fight for healthy air, because Lucy and Ethel can’t function properly without it. In case you were wondering, Lucy and Ethel are the nicknames I have given my new lungs that in return have given me a new lease on life. Read more...
Two years ago, I moved to western Massachusetts and unknowingly to a county that scored an "F" for air quality. I chose to move my family here particularly so that my four-year-old daughter could be closer to her grandparents. Since that time I have been diagnosed with asthma (at age 43), and I am very concerned about the potential health repercussions for my daughter, the rest of our family, and for all living things in this area. Read more...
Throughout various cancer treatments since 2002, maintaining a walking regimen has been important to me. During this past decade, I've trained for and completed a local half-marathon in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; other ongoing walking fund-raisers I've done include: the L&LS's Light the Night, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and the Komen Race for the Cure. Read more...
I have emphysema. I should have died 10 years ago but instead I quit smoking. 1.) I had to know that I was going to die because of my addiction. 2.) I felt overwhelming sorrow and regret over the loss of my life. Read more...
I want everyone to have clean air to breathe. My grandparents died from lung cancer, and my mom died from a lung disease. I do not want to die from cancer or a disease because the quality of air I am breathing makes me sick. We all deserve to live long, healthy lives. Yet, we might not be able to, because our poor air quality forces us to breathe harmful pollutants. Read more...
I have severe asthma and emphysema. Working in the yard or walking more than a block outside is a major challenge. I was astounded this spring to find that my asthma was actually better in New York City than it is in Chicago! Read more...
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