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Auckland Asthma Achievers Celebrated

Media Release
5 December 2003

Auckland Achievers Celebrated

Six Aucklanders are being celebrated today in recognition of their individual achievements in meeting and overcoming the extra challenges they face because of a respiratory condition.

The Asthma and Respiratory Achievers Awards, proudly sponsored by Persil Sensitive, are aimed to promote further awareness of respiratory issues and to celebrate the achievements of people with a respiratory condition.

The Foundation and its affiliated societies are awarding more than 40 people nationwide for their achievements.

Speaking about the achievers, Jane Patterson, Foundation Executive Director, says that the quality of the achievers is outstanding.

"The achievers are people who have caught the attention of their local asthma society, respiratory educator, health professional or family member because of the spirit with which they tackle life and deal with their respiratory condition."

Jane Patterson says that it is great to share in the achievers victories over the challenges that each of them face. They are role models to the many people in New Zealand with a respiratory condition."

Julz Britnell, Foundation Health Promotion Manager says that the achievers stories are both inspiring and heart warming.

"It is encouraging to witness and recognize the strength, dedication, courage and tenacity of the achievers."

The Foundation congratulates each of the asthma and respiratory achievers nationwide. Well done!

Although she has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Norma Wright (Open COPD Category, Silverdale) at age 66 teaches Latin, American and ballroom dancing to students aged from 3 - 80 years old. With such reduced lung function this is an amazing achievement.

"A truly amazing person", says Practice Nurse Wendy McNaughton, Norma's nominator. Norma's achievements are a tribute to how someone with a respiratory condition can make a large contribution to the community and live life to the full.

Previously unable to hang out her washing or to perform everyday tasks because of bronchiectasis, Jane Panapa (Maori General Category, Age group 51-70, Te Atatu South) now can walk 30 minutes daily.

Diagnosed with the condition in 2002, the number of chest infections Jane has had has fallen, from four last year to none so far this year, thanks to good management of her condition.

Combining all of this with perfect inhaler technique Jane is a fantastic role model demonstrating how to overcome the extra challenges faced by someone with a respiratory condition.

Despite having both asthma and COPD, Mary Cato (Open General Category, Remuera) is quite exceptional in her attitude. At age 76 Mary still hikes with Wilderness Walks, an Auckland tramping group. Adhering to her asthma plan, as she does brilliantly, Mary is an inspirational role model for others, demonstrating that having a respiratory condition, or two, need not be a barrier to achieving.

As someone with asthma and previously a smoker, Moyna Grace (Maori General Category, Age group 31-50, Henderson) is an excellent promoter, educator and advocate for people with asthma. By following her self- management plan Moyna is a tremendous example to others of the value in managing asthma well.

Developing severe asthma at age 5, Carl van Roon (Open General Category, Age group 16-30, Mt Eden) wasn't even able to run across a room without bringing on a severe wheezing attack.

Now Carl swims for two hours a day and participates in martial arts training. Carl is an inspiring young individual who has shown a great amount of dedication and commitment.

As a young person with asthma with a child management plan that includes regular use of medications, Catrina Ladden (Open Under 16 Category, Albany) has gained better control of her condition and is able to participate in many activities. Now with the energy to do ballroom dancing and to play netball and hockey, Catrina is a fantastic role model demonstrating the value of asthma management.

Turning 85 this month, Helen Sipos (Open COPD Category, Mt Albert) developed asthma and COPD in her late 70’s. Since then she has managed very well. Helen has her own nebuliser and carries a portable one with her. Helen is an inspiration to others as she taken responsibility for managing her condition as best she can.

ENDS

Auckland Achievers will be awarded on Friday 5 December, 4–6 pm (presentation will begin at 4.30). The function will be held at AFM Downia, 20 Copsey Place, Avondale, Auckland.

The Asthma and Respiratory Achievers present at ceremony will be Mary Cato, Moyna Grace, Carl van Roon and Helen Sipos

Nominators present at ceremony are Wendy McNaughton, Tamara Clarke, Dinah Bradley, Marjorie van Roon and Brooke Sipos

Achievers and Nominators' contact information

Statistics and a list of respiratory definitions following.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of NZ (Inc.) is a non-governmental charitable organisation that provides education, information, advocacy and research on asthma and other respiratory conditions. All of our resources are free to download from www.asthmanz.co.nz.


Statistics

One in four New Zealand children have asthma.
Asthma is the most common cause of child hospital admissions.
One in six New Zealanders are affected by Asthma.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.
It is estimated that asthma costs New Zealand $825 million per year in direct and indirect costs.
1 in every 200 deaths is due to asthma.
It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide have asthma
Rates of asthma and COPD are expected to rise over the next two decades
COPD is the second most important chronic disease among adults
COPD is the 3rd and 4th most common cause of death in males and females respectively
In 1990, New Zealand Maori had the highest mortality rates from COPD compared with OECD countries.


Definitions

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways of the lungs. The airways become hyper reactive (extra sensitive) and react to things that do not affect other people such as cigarette smoke, animal dander and cold air. These triggers cause the airways to tighten, partially close up, swell inside and make more mucus. When this happens breathing becomes a struggle.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is an umbrella term, which covers conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma. Also known as CORD or CAL (chronic obstructive respiratory disease or chronic airways limitation). People with COPD have shortness of breath when exercising, cough with phlegm and frequent bouts of bronchitis in the winter. COPD is non-reversible – the treatment consists of preventing further damage (giving up smoking) and managing the symptoms.

Major Differences between COPD and Asthma

Asthma COPD
Typically begins at any age Sufferer usually over 40years
No direct relationship with smoking Mainly smokers and ex-smokers
Episodic attacks with exposures to allergen, irritant or exercise Progressive shortness of breath, usually with exercise
Dry, hacking cough usually in the evening (not always present) Productive cough usually in the morning
Bronchiectasis In bronchiectasis there has been direct damage or destruction to the airway walls. This can be the result of infections, inhalation of noxious chemicals or damage from another lung condition. Most people with bronchiectasis have a chronic, productive cough because of the extra mucus being produced. It is a condition that is a lot more common than previously thought.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease. It affects one in every 2,500 to 3,500 births in New Zealand. In CF the mucus glands in the body secrete very thick sticky mucus, which clogs the tiny airways and traps bacteria. Repeated infections and blockages cause irreversible lung damage.

Peak Flow Monitoring a peak flow meter is a small portable plastic tube with a measuring gauge along the side, which measures how fast a person can blow air out of their lungs. When a person is well, the breathing tubes are open and peak flow is high. If the tubes are tight (when asthma is playing up) the peak flow will fall

Self Management Plan is a plan written down and agreed to by both the patient and the doctor. It is based on peak flow readings and symptoms. It tells the person with a respiratory condition what to do if their peak flow drops or symptoms deteriorate

Spirometry is the most basic objective measurement of lung function. The results of well-performed spirometry give an indication of whether airflow and lung volume are appropriate for a patient’s age, sex and height i.e. whether there is significant airflow obstruction (e.g. asthma or COPD)
FEV1 is one of the measurements of spirometry. It is reduced with airflow limitation and obstruction. An FEV1 of less than 30% indicates severe COPD.


Asthma & Respiratory Achievers Awards

Background

The Asthma and Respiratory Achievers Awards proudly sponsored by Persil Sensitive is a nationwide search for, and acknowledgement of, people with respiratory disease, who manage their condition in a way that allows good quality of life. This is demonstrated by the goals, either personal or professional, that they work towards and achieve throughout their life. These are goals or activities that are made more challenging by having a respiratory condition.

All nominees have a diagnosed respiratory condition, a management plan (where appropriate) and are following their treatment plan.

There are six categories (see below). All nominations were received and reviewed by the Foundation. Five nominees in each category were selected by the Foundation. From this group one person in each category was selected for a Supreme Achiever Award by an independent panel. They will each receive their award at a ceremony hosted by Her Excellency Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor-General of New Zealand, at Government House in Wellington on 12 November 2003. All other nominees are receiving a certificate presented by their local asthma society.

Categories
Maori -Under 16
-COPD
-General
Open -Under 16
-COPD
-General

It is important to the Foundation to recognize Maori who do well in managing their condition thereby drawing attention to the particular seriousness of asthma for Maori (see next page).

Panellists chose the Supreme Achiever Award winners from five nominees selected by the Foundation in each category. The panels are as follows.

Maori Panel Hon Tariana Turia, Minister of Health
Dr Errol Raumati, GP, Te Atiawa Medical Centre
Teresea Olsen, Manager Health and Social Services at Kokiri Marae, Seaview, Lower Hutt

Under 16 - Open Panel Dr David Barry, Hawkes Bay paediatrician
Carol Fitzgerald, Respiratory Educator, Dunedin
Hester Reich, Head Prefect, Wellington Girls
College

COPD/General - Open Panel Hon Ruth Dyson, Associate Minister of Health
Prof Ian Town, Dean of Christchurch School
of Medicine and Health Sciences
Jenny Lemin, Respiratory Nurse Educator at
Southland DHB


Statistics

One in four New Zealand children have asthma
Asthma is the most common cause of child hospital admissions
One in six New Zealanders are affected by asthma
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world
It is estimated that asthma costs New Zealand $825 million per year in direct and indirect costs
Severity of asthma is greater for Maori children
Maori are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital
Asthma is more prevalent in Maori and Pacific Island adults
1 in every 200 deaths is due to asthma
It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide have asthma
Rates of asthma and COPD are expected to rise over the next two decades
COPD is the second most important chronic disease among adults
COPD is the 3rd and 4th most common cause of death in males and females respectively
In 1990, New Zealand Maori had the highest mortality rates from COPD compared with OECD countries.


Definitions

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways of the lungs. The airways become hyper reactive (extra sensitive) and react to things that do not affect other people such as cigarette smoke, animal dander and cold air. These triggers cause the airways to tighten, partially close up, swell inside and make more mucus. When this happens breathing becomes a struggle.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is an umbrella term, which covers conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma. Also known as CORD or CAL (chronic obstructive respiratory disease or chronic airways limitation). People with COPD have shortness of breath when exercising, cough with phlegm and frequent bouts of bronchitis in the winter. COPD is non-reversible – the treatment consists of preventing further damage (giving up smoking) and managing the symptoms.

Major Differences between COPD and Asthma

Asthma COPD
Typically begins at any age Sufferer usually over 40years
No direct relationship with smoking Mainly smokers and ex-smokers
Episodic attacks with exposures to allergen, irritant or exercise Progressive shortness of breath, usually with exercise
Dry, hacking cough usually in the evening (not always present) Productive cough usually in the morning

Bronchiectasis In bronchiectasis there has been direct damage or destruction to the airway walls. This can be the result of infections, inhalation of noxious chemicals or damage from another lung condition. Most people with bronchiectasis have a chronic, productive cough because of the extra mucus being produced. It is a condition that is a lot more common than previously thought.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of NZ (Inc.) is a non-governmental charitable organisation that provides education, information, advocacy and research on asthma and other respiratory conditions. All of our resources are free to download from www.asthmanz.co.nz.

ENDS

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