So Why Would You Run for Asthma UK, Hari?

hari and ruskin her teddy bear, drawn by rory waterfield

So why would you want to raise money for an asthma charity?

I mean, it’s not like asthma is a real health issue, is it? People just have a puffer thing for show, right?


In the UK someone is experiencing a potentially life threatening asthma attack every 10 seconds.

Asthma kills, or to be more precise, asthma attacks were the cause of death for 1216 people – adults and children – in 2014. If you don’t think those numbers are high, consider this. The UK has one of the highest asthma death rates in Europe…

Hari as Guy of Gisborne, Robin Hood, guy and disguise, pantomime by marie Shallcross and Danny Brooke, amateur theatre

And it affects the lives of thousands more. In more severe cases of this chronic condition, asthma affects them on a daily basis for their whole lives.

As a child, I remember my older sister spending days upon days in bed because of her asthma. Medical awareness and practice has changed hugely since then. But 7 out of 10 people with asthma still do not get care for their condition that meets basic clinical standards.

marie and hari, aged 2 and a bit

What is asthma? It is a long term condition that narrows the airways, the bronchial tubes, so that less air is able to get in to the lungs.

There is currently no cure, asthma can only be managed with drugs, with therapies, and with support.

When my niece was little, it got to be a family joke that we would find the empty capsules of her twice daily asthma medication in all sorts of places. Just like you keep finding pine needles from the Christmas tree right through to Easter.

fell foot playground, windermere

There are different types of asthma. Briefly these can be categorised into:-

  • Occupational asthma
    Difficult to control and severe asthma
    Adult onset asthma
    Childhood asthma
    Seasonal asthma

Asthma may be inherited or be a result of external factors.

Every 7 minutes someone is hospitalised because they have asthma.

Hari has lived with asthma since childhood. We had a practical and empathic consultant, who suggested the flute as an appropriate wind instrument. A brilliant idea and Hari has wonderful and entertaining memories of concert tours abroad with school as a result.

hari canoeing, derbyshire

Swimming is also good for improving the most efficient use of your lungs and airways. Not only did all the children have swimming lessons, I ended up training as a swimming teacher, so we all have certificates!

Nearly one fifth of people with asthma have difficulty breathing virtually the whole time. That’s every breath they take may be a struggle to fill their lungs.

American Idiot, producers and sponsors, theatre, london

Of these 17% about 13% have what is called difficult to control asthma. It’s not just about numbers. Hari is one of those people, my niece of one of those people. that person sitting next to you on the train or laughing at a comedian in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival could be one of those people.

Hari, protective vest, work gear

They’re fighters. When every breath is precious, you aim to get the most out of life. And it’s amazing what you can do with the right medication and support.

hari on her new scooter


“We are the UK’s leading asthma research charity. The research we support helps us understand the causes of asthma, reduce asthma attacks, find new treatments for severe asthma, turn discoveries in the lab into new treatments and ultimately find a cure.”

Asthma UK

Hari and elephant, RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Would you like to support Hari in her run at Richmond Park in September to raise funds for asthma? online giving at Hari’s Just Giving page

Hari, personal best, womens runnning 10k run, brockwell park september 2015, london

And here’s a lavender shortbread biscuit I made to raise more funds – have one as a thank you for reading, understanding and sponsoring Hari in her determination to help others.

lavender shortbread and scottish shortbread, home baking for fundraising, asthma uk, 10k run




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