Friday, March 4, 2011

There are many "Grandpa Norman's"

I have been involved with the American Lung Association since January 2009.  I became involved with the ALA because of my grandpa Norman...

In high school I joined the bowling team (haha that's right, the bowling team!).  I didn't know the first thing about bowling, but apparently my grandpa was an amazing bowler back in the day.  We made weekly trips to the bowling alley and he taught me everything he knew.  He was the reason I bowled in the 170s consistently and even bowled my highest game... a 204! 

My grandpa and I became so close through those lessons.  I loved listening to his stories and seeing him at every bowling match.  Unfortunately, my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer in Feb. 2007 and passed away the very next month.  I remember always seeing him with a cigarette in his hand and behind his ear.  Every time he went to light up, I would tell him, "Grandpa, you should really quit.  One of these days it's going to kill you."  And unfortunately, it did.

When my grandpa was young they didn't know smoking was unhealthy.  Today we do.  The ALA has done so much to prevent lung disease and promote lung health through education, advocacy and research.  They gave us the luxury of walking into smoke free restaurants and bars.  They educate children how to handle their asthma through school programs and camps.  They fund research for lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, asthma, and so much more.
There are many "grandpa norman's" out there and I thank each ALA supporter.  Your participation helps us honor those suffering and those who have passed away from lung disease.  Your fundraising efforts help fight for children with asthma, teens who are pressured to start smoking, people with lung cancer and emphysema, and everyone who wants to breathe healthy air in our communities.  Thank you.

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