Monday, May 9, 2016

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Introduces New Asthma Awareness Patch

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) introduced a new Asthma Awareness patch on Saturday, May 7 at Glazebrook Park in Godfrey in conjunction with the 16th Annual American Lung Association Asthma Awareness and Education Walk. 

More than 100 people were in attendance at the event chaired by Jaris Waide, American Lung Association volunteer ambassador.  Waide suffered an acute asthma attack in 1998 that caused a traumatic brain injury.  Her experience inspired her to become one of the area's leading asthma awareness advocates. Special guests included Girl Scouts from Medora who dedicated the day to their friend and fellow Girl Scout Mia Kessinger, who passed away earlier this year from an asthma related event.  

GSSI Program Manager Julie Fox introduced the new program, which guides girls to learn more about the respiratory system, asthma, and how to respond in case of an asthma-related emergency.  She also recognized Girl Scout Courtney Winkler of Glen Carbon for winning a patch design contest held earlier this year with her submission depicting an advocate ribbon in light gray, which is the color of asthma awareness.  Attendees then joined together for a moment of silence and song in tribute to Mia.  
Next, Joey L. Petrokovich, 911 Manager of the Wood River Police Department, educated the group to increase their asthma awareness.  Attendees learned information including common triggers of asthma attacks, what to do if experiencing an asthma attack and how to help someone else having an asthma attack.  He also explained how 911 works, taught the best protocol when calling in an emergency and led a question and answer session.

Following the educational portion of the event, participants walked the path around Glazebrook Park and enjoyed a friendly pancake brunch together.  Waide plans to donate the proceeds from her fundraising event to GSSI in order to help educate even more girls on asthma awareness.

"We're so honored to have been part of this wonderful event and pleased to be able to increase asthma awareness as part of GSSI's commitment to helping girls learn more about healthy living and being prepared in case of an emergency," said Fox.

More Photos:

GSSI Program Manager Julie Fox discusses the new Asthma Awareness Patch Program. 

Girl Scouts from Medora commemorated the day in honor of Mia Kessinger.

Joey Petrokovich, 911 Manager for the Wood River Police Department 
discusses what to do in case of an asthma emergency.

GSSI Program Manager Julie Fox with event organizer Jaris Waide.

Girl Scouts with event organizer Jaris Waide.

Jaris got many hugs from the Girl Scouts in attendance.

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