Tiffany Phu loved sports and spent most of her time outdoors. So it was fitting that on a balmy May night, her older sister Michelle confidently threw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game.
“Tiffany enjoyed playing all types of sports,” notes Michelle. Tiffany died from asthma two years earlier, in May 2014, after running track at her Texas school.
The eighth grader was just 13.
The sudden and tragic loss of the spirited teen devastated Michelle and her family.
Determined to raise asthma awareness and to honor the memory of the friendly soccer player and track star, Tiffany’s family launched a fundraiser, #idoit4tiff.
Earlier this year, Michelle and her family visited Philadelphia for Teva Respiratory Night at the Phillies.
During the first few innings, visitors took free asthma screenings performed by local medical staff. Doctors encouraged those who showed signs of possible asthma to see their own health care providers.
“If you were to ask someone about how to detect an asthma attack, what to do during an asthma attack, or how to prevent an asthma attack, they probably wouldn’t know how to answer any of these questions,” says Michelle. “The majority of people do not realize how serious this lung disease is.”
Asthma runs in the family - Michelle has it, as do most cousins and their grandma.
Tiffany was diagnosed at age 8. Her only known triggers were colds and viruses. But she wasn’t sick when she died, the family says.
Michelle, their mom Amy, and Tiffany
More Americans than ever before have asthma. This lung disease is incurable. And Michelle points out that Tiffany was one of 10 people who died that day in May from asthma.
Michelle and her family hope Tiffany’s story helps to raise awareness about the seriousness of asthma.