Like other children diagnosed with asthma at a young age, Matthew, 13, does not remember being told about this lung disease. Instead, this avid hockey player just remembers struggling to breathe.
“When it feels hard to breathe, it just feels like I have to constantly cough. Sometimes it feels like my throat is closing,” says the seventh grader.
As Matthew reaches his teen years, his asthma seems to be getting worse. In addition, a recent asthma attack led to anxiety. Matthew channels the negative energy stirred up by the anxiety into positive thoughts, such as winning a hockey trophy.
Matthew also remembers Rashad’s advice shared during the asthma football camp: “Persevere through it and good things will come out of it.”
“Having asthma isn’t a bad thing. You can still do things other people do. You just can’t do as much, but you can still do it,” Matthew says.
For his mom, Sherry, the key is finding support from other people, and to always be prepared with emergency medications. “It’s overwhelming at first, but you don’t have to be scared once you learn what to do to keep healthy.”