When reflecting on the history of Asthma Canada and how it came to be, it’s impossible to overlook, Judy Godfrey, a cornerstone in the formation of the charity, and its founding president.

Judy, described by her husband Sheldon as a “sparkplug” for the charity’s formation, held a firm belief that funds raised for asthma causes in Canada should remain within Canada to directly aid those impacted by asthma. At the time, funds raised in Canada were beginning to be used to support asthma research and education initiatives in the United States rather than Canada.

This belief led to the formation of the “Asthma Society of Canada” as it was then known.

In the early 1970s, Judy, alongside her friend and fellow founder Jo Ann Posen, faced the challenge of leadership in an era where women had to work twice as hard for their voices to be heard. Yet, their resilience propelled them to collaborate with like-minded individuals and professionals, creating a charity dedicated to enhancing the lives of Canadians living with asthma and their families.

As Asthma Canada marks its 50th anniversary of incorporation on Monday, April 8th, 2024, we pause to reflect on its remarkable journey and the people that made it happen including Judy, Sheldon, Jo Ann and many others who we will recognize as we share more in this anniversary year.

Over the past five decades, Asthma Canada has been instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of Canadians through health promotion and educational initiatives. We’ve advocated for individuals living with asthma nationwide, ensuring their needs are met, while our ongoing research strives to pave the way for a better world for all impacted by asthma.

None of these accomplishments would have been achievable without the hard work and dedication of people like Judy, Jo Ann and Sheldon and, on behalf of the 4 million+ Canadians living with asthma, we would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the countless others who have contributed to our charity over the past 50 years.

If you have stories, photos or memorabilia to share from the 50 years of Asthma Canada, we warmly invite you to contribute by email info@asthma.ca.