Skip to main content

Karen Dunn was a high school counselor in Tennessee for 20 years. She loved working with students and having a positive effect on their lives. She helped every student in any way she could.

Now, during her retirement, she devotes her time to raising awareness about asthma in her local community.

Local Asthma Outreach

Karen does outreach throughout the year. She sets up tables in places like senior centers, at community events, and in schools, among others. She believes it’s important to put information about asthma in people’s hands. She also talks about how important it is to work with your doctor to manage this condition.

“It’s important to spread the word about asthma awareness,” Karen said. “It’s important that people know that there are resources out there. We share handouts and information from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America with the community.”

During one outreach event, a young woman approached their table. Karen shared educational handouts and talked about asthma with her. The young woman mentioned she had been diagnosed with asthma. She didn’t know people could die from it.

“I want to encourage everyone to take responsibility for their health care, educate themselves, and make themselves aware,” Karen stated. “It can only help.”

A display of asthma educational handouts

Karen Dunn’s display of asthma educational material from AAFA that she shared at an event in her community

Advocacy Born from Tragedy

This work was inspired by one of Karen’s former students, Keyshawn Tatum. He was very active in his community and a great student. Karen worked closely with him and his family.

In 2022, he tragically died due to an asthma attack at his home. He was 20 years old. Due to a shortage of first responders and ambulances, it took 45 minutes before first responders reached him.

Karen feels strongly about her outreach because of his story. She puts a lot of her energy toward this cause.

“You hear about tragic stories about asthma, and they’re heartbreaking,” Karen said.

In addition to the outreach, Karen created a memorial scholarship fund in Keyshawn’s name to support students in her county.

Spreading Empowerment

There is power and healing in sharing stories. Karen hopes more people will share their stories and support one another, especially if they’ve lost a loved one to asthma.

“You never know who you are going to help by sharing what you’re going through.”

Get answers to your asthma and allergy questions on our online forums.



Images (1)
  • A display of asthma educational handouts: A display of asthma educational handouts

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.