The following statement is attributed to Carmella Gutierrez, president
of Californians for Patient Care:
Asthma has plagued residents of Californias Central Valley for many
years, with the areas children being particularly affected. It is one
of the many chronic illnesses, like hypertension and diabetes, that
Californians are dealing with on an increasing basis.
People who suffer from asthma endure horrific physical discomfort, from
massive chest tightness, wheezing and coughing to literally struggling
for breath. These symptoms of an asthma attack are excruciating for any
asthma patient, and in some cases can even be life-threatening; but for
children suffering from asthma, they are also extremely scary.
Asthma is historically one of the leading reasons children in the
Central Valley miss school and are admitted to hospitals. Not
coincidentally, the Central Valley also has some of the highest rates of
air pollution not just in the state, but in the country. Ideally, we
should all work together to eliminate the circumstances that lead to
asthma attacks, but we also need to know what to do in case someone we
know or love suffers from an asthma attack. In short, education and
awareness need to increase.
Events like the Central Valley Asthma Walk, sponsored by the Service
Employees International Union and United Healthcare Workers (SEIU-UHW),
are so important they remind that asthma is a serious, chronic
illness. We applaud SEIU-UHW for organizing this walk and for shining a
bright light on one of the Central Valleys most serious health
Californians for Patient Care is a nonprofit organization based in
Sacramento dedicated to protecting the interests of patients and
ensuring all California consumers have fair and equitable access to high
quality healthcare. For more information, visit www.calpatientcare.org.