First and foremost, let me clarify this: I AM NOT ASTHMATIC, neither my son nor any of my family members. But I do understand that it is difficult to have asthma. I have friends who have asthma and passed on the illness to their offsprings.
A close friend of mine who recently had a vacation in Singapore brought all of her son’s ‘asthma prevention gadgets’ with them, which occupied almost half of their luggage. His son is always confined in the hospital too for asthma attacks. But despite of her son’s illness, she does not put so much restriction to her child that she lets him experience the best things in life. She lets her son do sports activities and eat plenty of food, but there is one thing that she cannot provide: a pet dog. Just to fulfill her son’s wish, she bought him a battery-operated toy dog, haha.
Anyway, I thank God for not giving us this illness. Seeing a person having his/her asthma attack is really devastating and worrisome. Sad to say, there are people who die due to a severe asthma attack. Reports show that there are 235 million worldwide who have asthma with 250,000 annual deaths recorded. Furthermore it is predicted that another 100 million people will suffer from the disease by 2025.
In the Philippines alone, there are over 10 million cases of people with asthma. Asthma remains the most common chronic disease of childhood morbidity as measured by school absences, emergency visits, and hospitalizations.
Some of the presentation slides shown during the event
However, despite of the illness, there are people who chose to battle asthma. They became successful in their chosen careers despite of having asthma. Yes, they still do have asthma attacks, but since they educated themselves with the illness, they know the things that they need to do to control the illness. Take the case of Arnel Pineda, Kim Chiu, and Michael Christian Martinez. These three have asthma and yet they accomplished so much in their respective careers.
Can you win against asthma?
This February 5, 2015, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015. The campaign aims to choose and recognize ten (10) young asthmatic achievers from different walks of life. This is a nationwide search open to 10-30 year olds who are outstanding in their respective fields despite having asthma and inspire other asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against asthma.
Other qualifications are as follows:
· Asthma patient diagnosed by a qualified physician
· Filipino citizen or individual permanently residing in the Philippines
· An achiever in his/her chosen field (sports, arts, academics, work, etc.)
There will be two age groups: 10-19 years old and 20-30 years old. Ten (10) finalists will be chosen for each category, but will only choose five (5) winners for each category.
This search will run from February until May 2015. Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2015. GSK will be touring to different schools and drugstore outlets to spread the advocacy and invite more people to join the campaign.
All entries will be screened during the first week of April 2015. The top twenty (20) finalists will be announced on World Asthma Day on May 5th. There will be online voting for the top twenty finalists and the top ten will be announced and awarded by the third week of May 2015.
The criteria for judging is as follows:
Excellence in their Field or Category
Evidence of winning over asthma
Each of the ten (10) winners will receive the following prizes:
- Five Thousand (PhP5,000) worth of GCs from Folded & Hung
- Huawei P7 Smart Phone
- Twenty Five Thousand (PhP25,000) worth of Sodexo GCs
During the launch of the search, my son tried some Huawei smart phones displayed at the function room lobby. My son enjoyed using the smart phone that he does not want to leave anymore, haha.
Kib on Huawei's booth
I didn’t know that Huawei has been in the Philippines since 1997; wow, almost 20 years in the Philippine industry!
Going back to the event, it was really inspiring to hear the success stories of Arnel Pineda, Kim Chiu, and Michael Christian Martinez. Arnel Pineda just gave a video message, Kim Chiu was the event launch herself, and Michael Christian Martinez was on phone patch from USA.
Arnel Pineda giving a video message to the press
Kim Chiu telling her story about her battle with asthma
Michael Christian Martinez on a phone patch being interviewed by Sam Purvor, the host of the event
Indeed, when you dream big, no matter how difficult it is, you’ll succeed. These three asthmatic achievers never let their illness as a hindrance to to their success. The Search for Winners Against Asthma may inspire other asthmatics too their illness should not be a deterrent from living one’s life to the fullest.
Kim Chiu posing with GSK executives and physicians
You may visit: http://facebook.com/winagainstasthma and click on “Search For Winners” tab for the contest mechanics and other details.