I was never embarrassed by having asthma; I always saw it as something that made me unique. As I’ve grown up, I don’t get asthma attacks as much. Also, I’m like more prepared mentally – I make sure everyone around me knows that I have asthma, and I always have my inhaler with me.


Allie, 18


Taken a lot of time
I was always embarrassed about my asthma…not so much ashamed, but I definitely didn’t like being different from other kids who could run around and didn’t have to carry their inhaler everywhere they went. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that needing to take my inhaler is more important than worrying that someone might laugh at me, but that has taken a lot of time.

Michelle, 22


Now I am not embarrassed
My boyfriend is well aware of my allergies. I carry EpiPens everywhere; I have one in my purse, and I have one at work.   People at work are aware of my illness and my food allergies. As you get older you realize that it doesn’t really matter what people think. When I was a kid I used to think that people would judge me, but they really didn’t. I was very nervous of what people thought of me when it came to my food allergies, only being able to stay at a birthday party for forty five minutes if they had dogs or any animal that had dander– it was embarrassing. Now that I’m older I don’t really give a hoot about what people think. I’m not embarrassed to tell the waiter that I have food allergies, but when you are a kid and an adolescent you are like, “Uh, now what do I do? How do I deal with this?” I’ve grown a lot when it comes to telling people about my food allergies, carrying an EpiPen, I have no problem with explaining how to use an EpiPen, I know how to use it myself, my boyfriend knows how to use it, I have them at my parents’ house. I try to educate as many people as I possibly can because you never know when something bad could happen.

Bridget, 26


I’ve been through it all, and I turned out OK
Well I’ve participated in studies, and I’ve been to asthma camp. I’ve done stuff that can be rewarding. Being able to tell my story right now is probably my most rewarding experience ever, because I have so much history and so much to say about asthma, and I can relate to a kid’s point of view about having it, or to a young adult’s, or even to a teenager’s point of view about what it’s like to deal with asthma in high school. There was one situation I got into where it was like my first kiss and the one thing he said was, “Are you going to have an asthma attack?” It was embarrassing. Of course I’m like, “No!” My point is at all ages I’ve been affected by asthma, but I’ve turned out OK.

Bridget, 26