Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) Launches the Great American Asthma Challenge

Published April - 30 - 2010

First-Ever National Grassroots Movement to End Asthma Deaths in the United States

WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 5, 2010 – Every day 10 people die from asthma. Most healthcare providers agree that these deaths are preventable. Patient education, access to care and a healthy lifestyle are proven methods that lead to less severe asthma symptoms, fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits, fewer missed days of school and work – and fewer deaths.

Today Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA), the nation’s only family-founded patient education nonprofit organization, launches the Great American Asthma Challenge – the first-ever national grassroots movement to change asthma care in the U.S. – at AANMA’s 13th annual Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill. The Great American Asthma Challenge links people with asthma, their families and friends, healthcare providers, legislators and members of the healthcare industry in a shared mission, working at home and in their communities to transform asthma care in a ripple effect across the nation.

AANMA has a proven track record of galvanizing individuals across the U.S. to work together for meaningful change. The award-winning “Breathe: It’s the Law” campaign has now resulted in all 50 states passing laws to protect students’ rights to carry asthma medication at school. “Working together, we can all achieve that same degree of success with the Great American Asthma Challenge,” said Nancy Sander, AANMA founder and president. “We have the power to create a different and better future for generations of people with asthma and related conditions, starting today.”

Kickoff at Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill
The proactive, “can do” approach of the Great American Asthma Challenge resonates with Chris Draft, NFL linebacker and founder of The Chris Draft Family Foundation and The Asthma Team™. Draft motivates children and adults with asthma to take charge of their health through his off-the-field work with his foundation. He will be the keynote speaker at the Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill Congressional and Press Breakfast Briefing (8:30-10:30 a.m., Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room) and a special guest at the following Asthma & Allergy Health Fair and Free Asthma Screenings (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Rayburn Foyer).

Members of Congress planning to speak in support of the Great American Asthma Challenge goals at Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill include Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI), Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). For a full schedule and more details, please visit

Special thank you to ExxonMobil, Teva Respiratory, Novartis, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), Aerocrine, Phadia, Pharmaxis.

How it works
The Great American Asthma Challenge starts today, May 5. Participants log into a new interactive website, take a quick survey to establish a baseline and set goals, then they’re off to complete Challenge activities targeted for three levels of users: families, healthcare providers and legislators. New Challenges will be posted on the website each month. Throughout the Challenge, participants will see survey results and share feedback. The Challenge is self-paced and fun, plugging participants into a network of others who share their struggles, triumphs and goals. At the end of the Challenge, users take a survey to measure their progress.

Founded in 1985, Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics is the leading national nonprofit family organization dedicated to eliminating death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA’s core areas of expertise are education, advocacy and outreach. The organization’s website and award-winning publications, Allergy & Asthma Today magazine and The MA Report online newsletter, are consumer lifelines to medical news and healthy living.

For more information, call 800.878.4403 or visit You can also follow AANMA on Twitter and Facebook and on the Take A Weekly Breather blog. Take the Great American Asthma Challenge:

Contact: Christie Chapman