Residents still have a couple more days to wear blue ribbons and help spread awareness of asthma – a common condition that can also be fatal.
For the 17th year in a row, family and friends of the late Christopher John Schumacher are staging Blue Ribbon Asthma Awareness Week, Oct. 15-25, to not only honor Schumacher’s memory, but to show support “for all those who have asthma and know someone who suffers from asthma,” according to organizers.
Schumacher was 14 – just shy of his 15th birthday – when he died from a severe asthma attack on Oct. 19, 1996.
“He was blonde with blue eyes and tall, very handsome, and so smart and funny,” said Christopher’s mother, Debbie Schumacher. “He had great friends and I know his loss was felt by many.”
According to Debbie, her son was also an athlete, and in fact won many gold medals at the Bishop Elementary School’s Junior Olympics over the years.
A number of professional athletes also suffer from asthma, she said, proving that the respiratory disease can affect anyone regardless of their age, activity level or physical fitness.
She encouraged anyone who suspects they may be suffering from asthma or related respiratory illness to consult with their physician immediately.
One of the main things Debbie hopes to accomplish with Blue Ribbon Asthma Awareness Week is to eliminate any complacency people may have about their own asthma or a loved one’s asthma, reminding them that it is a serious condition that should be treated as such.
Blue ribbons are still available at the Bishop branch of the Inyo County Free Library on Academy; Northern Inyo Hospital off of West Line Street; and La Casita Restaurant on South Main Street.
For more information about asthma and related treatments, visit www.cdc.gov/asthma/  or www.lung.org .