On this final Friday of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), our food allergy division, are holding a Remembrance Day in honor of family members and loved ones who’ve died from asthma or anaphylaxis. We also take time to remember others who have needlessly been lost to preventable deaths.
On average, more than 3,700 people in the U.S. die from asthma each year.1 A few hundred more die each year because of severe allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis [anna-fih-LACK-sis].2 Most of these deaths were preventable. We believe one life lost to asthma or anaphylaxis is one too many.
On this day, we reflect on our mission to save lives and reduce the burden of these diseases on individuals and families.
We dedicate May 26 as a time to celebrate and honor lives lost and to continue to make a difference in memory of the people who live in our hearts forever.
Ways You Can Honor People Lost to Asthma and Anaphylaxis
At AAFA and KFA, we are blowing bubbles to remember lives lost. We encourage you to join us. Here are some ways you can show your respects:
- Blow bubbles in memoriam: Share a photo on social media blowing bubbles or of a loved one using the hashtag #AsthmaAwareness, #AllergyAwareness, or #FoodAllergyAwareness and tag AAFA or KFA.
- Write a poem, draw a picture, take a photograph of something your loved one would find beautiful, or sing or write a song using the hashtag #AsthmaAwareness, #AllergyAwareness, or #FoodAllergyAwareness and tag AAFA or KFA.
- Share a memory of a loved one in the comments below, or join our AAFA or KFA communities and share your memories on our forums.
- Send a card in the mail, make a phone call, or drop a text to friends or family to share support and fond memories.
- Make a donation to support AAFA’s work in memory of a loved one.
What AAFA and KFA Are Doing to Reduce Asthma and Anaphylaxis Deaths
AAFA and KFA work to fulfill our mission through several programs and initiatives. Your support makes these programs possible. Here are some of the ways we are working to reduce deaths from asthma and anaphylaxis:
- Advocacy – Support for public policies that will benefit people with asthma and allergies
- Community Health Interventions to Advance Self-Management of Asthma (CHI-ASMA) – A program backed by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help people with asthma improve asthma control
- Educational programs and resources – Evidence-based programs on asthma and food allergies for patients, caregivers, and health care professionals, including online courses and downloadable handouts
- Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL) program – Addresses health disparities in communities that bear the heaviest burden of asthma
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) partnership – Promotes clinical research that aims to better understand food allergies and related conditions, and find ways to better diagnose and treat people with food allergies
- Online Communities for Patients and Caregivers – Forums where you can connect with others who manage asthma, allergies, allergic skin conditions, and food allergies for information and moral support
- Support for Military Members and Families Managing Asthma on AAFA’s Online Community – a private group that provides peer support for military members, veterans, and their families to manage asthma
In Memory Of
- Scotty, 20 (2022)
- Reverend Marvin Bradley
- John Cincotta, 75 (2023)
- Giovanni Cipriano, 14 (2013)
- Keisha Clay, 34 (2019)
- Oakley Debbs, 11 (2016)
- Miranda DeOnofrio, 20, (2017)
- Alessandra Del Principe, 26 (2021)
- Austin Dodds, 16 (2016)
- Vincent Ferrara (2020)
- Robert Gardner (2021)
- Logan Jackson, 4 (2018)
- Justin Kendrick, 23 (2022)
- Laura Levis, 34 (2016)
- Ahmad Malik, 56
- Aja Giovanni McLeod, 22 (2019)
- Nicola Parrotta, 70 (2021)
- Tiffany Phu, 13 (2014)
- Gary Pucket, 44 (2023)
- Ann Rinaldi, 62 (2023)
- Joseph “Joey” Shepherd, 34 (2021)
- Elijah Silvera, 3 (2017)
- Marisa Smock, 19 (2015)
- Michael “Mikey” Thomas (2021)
- Jaydra Tippetts, 23 (2023)
- Amber Tringale, 48 (2018)
- Jordan Vison, 30 (2020)
- Emily Vonder Meulen, 16 (2006)
- Kenneth Wardwell, 74 (2023)
This is just a small number of people we are honoring today who have lost their lives to asthma and anaphylaxis. Have you lost a loved one to asthma or anaphylaxis? Honor them in the comments below.
1. National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System: Underlying Cause of Death 2018-2021. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10-expanded.html
2. Jerschow, E., Lin, R. Y., Scaperotti, M. M., & McGinn, A. P. (2014). Fatal anaphylaxis in the United States 1999-2010: temporal patterns and demographic associations. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 134(6), 1318-1328.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.018