as mentioned on my about page, i have asthma. while i’ve become more adjusted to living with my own asthma, my focus has turned from writing about my own experiences with the disease, to using these experiences to help educate and empower others with asthma.
i very much believe in personalizing advocacy–advocating in the way that works for you. i began just advocating through living with asthma and being open to people asking me questions and educating them on a very basic day-to-day level. this is, i feel, the most important form of advocacy — using yourself to help others develop both awareness and empathy for what far too many of us have to deal with every day.
my initial efforts in advocacy began right here, with this blog. i taught [and still teach!] occasional asthma education classes to grade eleven biology students at my old school, with perspective both on biology, wellness, fitness and advocacy. soon, this branched out to twitter, which allows me to connect with people on a global level near-instantly. in june 2011, i began #lwac — living with asthma chat. we meet at 8 pm Central to discuss issues pertinent to asthma patients. after making a youtube video about the asthma society of canada which was posted on youtube, through twitter, i also began a deeper involvement in engaging with the asthma society of canada.
in 2010, i piloted a new program with the asthma society of canada called asthma ambassadors, with the goal of spreading educational materials to people with asthma and provide a link to the ASC. in early 2011, the team asthma program was launched — the goal, to link athletes with asthma with others in their communities, and to be ambassadors to the ASC at different athletic events. the ASC provided me with a sweet technical tee to help bring awareness to team asthma, the ASC and to help spark conversation and educate others about the necessity of activity for ALL, including people with asthma!
in august 2011, i was invited to become a member of the Asthma Society of Canada’s National Asthma Patient Alliance Executive Committee, which at the current time is a group of ten asthma patients and parents from across canada who help to guide the National Asthma Patient Alliance and act as a patient perspective for the ASC. i’m looking forward to learning more as i go and being able to become more involved with the ASC!
in addition, i’m also an advocate for the diabetes community as a person without diabetes, or PWoD! while i ended up mingling with the diabetes online community, or D-OC, quite by accident on twitter, it has been an awesome experience. the D-OC is an incredibly strong and amazing place, and i thank them so much for doing all that they have to educate me about what their lives with diabetes are like.
if you have questions or want to know how you can get involved, e-mail me.