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Be an Everyday Hero this Breathe Better September

16 July, 2019

The Breathe Better September campaign is open for signups now, with five-year-old Sapphire being the first to get involved.

Breathe Better September is the annual campaign run by Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ to increase awareness for the over 700,000 Kiwis who live with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, and gather some vital funds to support them.

The Everyday Hero Better Breathing Challenge encourages people to get out, get active, and improve their respiratory health. This could be as simple as walking around the block once a day, practicing some daily yoga, or running a marathon; whatever pushes you to raise awareness and improve your own health.

Schools, companies, families, or individuals like Sapphire can set up their own Better Breathing Challenge fundraising page on ‘Everyday Hero’. Digital Better Breathing Challenge packs are also available to help promote your campaigns, including posters, images, factsheets, and more.

ARFNZ CEO Letitia O’Dwyer participates every year and says that seeing someone like Sapphire leading the way is nothing short of inspiring.

"This campaign not only encourages Kiwis to think about an active lifestyle, but also educates and informs the public about asthma and other respiratory conditions,” says Letitia. “One in six New Zealanders have a respiratory disease, and it’s the third most common cause of death. This campaign is huge for us to help the country understand how serious these illnesses are.

“A young child like Sapphire recognising the importance of this is both heart-warming and inspirational, and we hope that many others follow her example.”

Erin Simpson, media personality and ARFNZ Ambassador, says that the Better Breathing Challenges are the highlight of her year.

“Having lived with asthma for most of my life, I know how serious it can be, and how important this campaign is. I can’t wait to run the Auckland marathon under the Foundation’s banner and, if I can do it, others can too!”

Breathe Better September will officially launch on Monday, 2 September at Midland Park, Wellington. For more information, and details on how to set up your own fundraising page, visit, or learn more about the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s work at


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