Josh Rheaume at the TCS Waterfront Marathon as part of Team Asthma Canada

“Growing up with severe asthma was like living in a constant battle with my own body. Hospital stays were a regular occurrence, and even the simplest activities felt like daunting challenges. I remember desperately trying to participate in sports, only to end up on the bench, wheezing and reaching for my inhaler, feeling like I was letting everyone down.

School was no refuge either. Despite having doctor’s notes and explanations for my absences, I felt like no one truly understood what I was going through. Teachers and principals often dismissed my struggles, expecting me to perform like any other student, unaware of the immense toll my asthma took on my daily life.

But everything changed in June 2020. After years of unintentionally abusing my asthma medications and grappling with my family’s medical history, I reached a breaking point. I realized I couldn’t keep living in fear of my own lungs. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. 

I started small, running just 500 meters at a time, taking breaks to use my inhaler when needed. Gradually, I pushed myself further, reaching distances I never thought possible. One day, I ran a full 25 kilometers—a monumental achievement considering where I’d started.

 With each step, I felt like I was reclaiming control over my life. For the first time, my asthma felt manageable. I wasn’t constantly afraid of triggering an attack, and I could finally enjoy physical activity without fear holding me back.

 Looking back, I can’t help but wonder how different my life could have been if I’d had sought out better support and education about managing my asthma earlier on. That’s why I’m passionate about advocating for improved healthcare for people like me.

 I believe that early detection, personalized trigger management, and comprehensive patient education are essential in helping individuals with severe asthma live fulfilling lives. By empowering patients with knowledge about their condition and providing access to resources like Asthma Canada’s Asthma & Allergy HelpLine, we can make a real difference in people’s lives.

 My journey has taught me the importance of resilience, self-empowerment, and the transformative impact of education and support services. I’m committed to using my experiences to advocate for change within the healthcare system, ensuring that no one else feels failed by the system like I did.

 Together, we can create a world where people with severe asthma can thrive, free from the limitations of their condition, and I’m determined to be a part of that change.”

Josh Rheaume (@the.asthma.runner)

Join Team Asthma Canada at the TCS Waterfront Marathon

Are you considering taking part in the TCS Waterfront Marathon or 5K this year? Want to be part of a supportive team and help raise funds for a great and worthy cause?

Over 4.6 million people in Canada are living with asthma, many facing daily challenges due to their condition. By joining Team Asthma Canada, you’ll play a crucial role in our mission to support these individuals in managing their condition and improving their quality of life through dedicated research, advocacy, and education initiatives.

TCS Waterfront  Marathon - Join Team Asthma Canada

Useful Resources

Asthma Control Toolkit

Asthma & Excercise

Having asthma does not mean that you cannot exercise.

Your Asthma Action Plan

Your Asthma Action Plan will help you recognize when your asthma is worsening and when you should seek help.

Asthma Action Plans for Kids

Your Asthma Action Plan for Kids will help you recognize when your child’s asthma is worsening and when you should seek help.

Asthma Canada's FREE Asthma & Allergy HelpLine

If you have questions on managing your asthma and allergies during wildfire season, please contact our free HelpLine at 1-866-787-4050 or info@asthma.ca. Our team of asthma and allergy experts will happily assist you with your asthma control and help put your mind at ease.

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Support Canadians Living with Asthma

Over 4.6 million Canadians are living with asthma, a condition that worsens for many during wildfires. Your generous contribution will enable Asthma Canada to not only heighten awareness and deliver vital education on such critical issues but also advance our efforts in research aimed at ultimately finding a cure for asthma.