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Awards celebrate those who battle to breathe!

Asthma Foundation
Media Release

14 January 2014

Awards celebrate those who battle to breathe!

The challenges of living with asthma and other respiratory conditions will come into sharp focus at the Asthma Foundation Achievers' Awards ceremony hosted by the Governor General at Government House.

Calling for nominations for the awards, the Asthma Foundation’s chief executive, Angela Francis, said “the Achievers' Awards acknowledge and celebrate New Zealanders who achieve things in their lives despite the challenges their respiratory conditions create.”

Previous achievers come from all walks of life. They include:
• Nathan Brown (Auckland) who has qualified for the world age group diving championships in Russia this year;
• Harlem Morell-Wilson (Hawkes-Bay)who, although he spends a lot of time in hospital with severe asthma, still plays sports at school and never complains;
• Nita Rouse (Napier) who quit smoking and took charge of the management of her COPD so she could do what she wanted to; and
• Vaughan Somerville (Auckland) who won the Cody Forbes Award for Courage. Vaughan has cystic fibrosis and has just finished his third year of medical school.
Their stories are all inspirational.

Nathan’s mum Elizabeth says “being an Achiever has helped Nathan realise that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can put yourself up as a good role model and show other kids that if you manage your asthma it doesn’t have to stop you doing anything. “

“We breathe every second of every day. Some people are in a constant battle but they put all that aside and achieve beyond expectation. They don't use their condition as an excuse but as a motivator to achieve even more. Nominating someone is a fantastic opportunity to give credit to those around you who despite having a respiratory condition continue to live a normal life and surpass all societal expectations” said Vaughan.

“People can do amazing things even when they face barriers to success, sometimes really huge barriers…they still come through against the odds,” said Angela. “We encourage everyone to nominate friends, colleagues, patients, sports mates so they get the pat on the back they deserve”.

A group of five Achievers will be presented with awards by the Governor–General in Wellington on the 13th March.
Nomination forms can be downloaded online at Nominations close on 7 February 2014.
• The Award categories are:
• Asthma 5 to 12 years old
• Asthma 13 to 18 years old
• Asthma adult
• Other respiratory conditions (including cystic fibrosis, bronchiolitis and bronchiectasis)
Cody Forbes Award for courage
All nominations are automatically eligible for the Cody Forbes Award. This is named after a wonderful boy from Turangi who had cystic fibrosis. Cody received an Achievers’ Award in 2005 and passed away in May 2007, shortly after his 16th birthday. Cody’s grace, strength of spirit, humour, and deep love for his whanau touched everyone who met him.
Nominations can be made and more information about the awards found at

Over 500,000 New Zealanders live life everyday challenged by a respiratory condition.
The Achievers' Awards celebrate these people who overcome these challenges and lead a full life.
The Asthma Foundation Achievers' Awards are held biannually.
Link to further information about Achievers' Awards here
Link to previous Achievers here
Link to nomination form here

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