I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Camp Participants at the 38th annual summer experience for children with asthma. Founded by Dr. Myron Leibhaber, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Sansum Clinic for over 30 years. I haven’t met the man personally yet he sounds like a fun guy with huge love and concern for kids who live with asthma. I was thrilled when I received the invitation from Margaret Weiss, director of Camp Wheez, and health education director for Sansum Clinic, to bring singing to the campers.
What Margaret didn’t realize is that I too grew up with severe asthma, hospitalized with my first attack as a baby at 6 months old and every year after, right around the holidays. I was allergice to EVERYTHING and didn’t just get a cold and be done like most kids. For me a cold often turned into bronchitis and if it got really bad, I was hospitalized with penumonia in an oxygen tent after being shot up with steroids to open my airway so I could breathe. I remember many scary visits to the emergency room for years.
When I became a Vocal Coach in 2000, I had no idea how singing would affect my breathing. It wasn’t until I realized I was carrying around an inhaler that I haven’t needed to use except for very rare occasions in the last decade. Other things have helped keep me attack free – avoiding wheat and dairy products, a daily meditation practice which helps me stay calm and avoiding stressful situations and toxic relationships as best I can.
If you would like to know how you can get involved by donating, volunteering, or referring a young person living with asthma, please visit http://www.sansumclinic.org/camp-wheez and help someone to breathe a little easier today.
HOW TO BREATHE
“You don’t need special lungs or special techniques,” says Giora Feidman, 80, an Argentine-born Israeli clarinet player and klezmer musician who first blew into his father’s clarinet as a toddler. Feidman reckons the problem arises when people unlearn what they innately know. When you emerged from the womb, it’s very likely you instinctively drew oxygen deep into your lungs. You probably did not hunch over, draw your shoulders up to your ears or otherwise restrict your airflow. Read more at www.newyorktimes.com.