The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ's annual fundraising campaign ‘Breathe Better September’ will kick off in a few weeks, and the Foundation is calling on Kiwis to challenge themselves to at least 16 minutes of lung exercise a day - in reference to the 1 in 6 New Zealanders living with respiratory illnesses.

Chief Executive Letitia Harding says everyone one in New Zealand knows someone with a respiratory condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). "We all have someone in our lives who struggles with breathing from time to time. It is really scary to experience and to watch someone you love going through that. Our mission as a Foundation is to improve the lives of these people through research, education and advocacy."

She points out that as the Foundation receives no Government funding, ARFNZ’s work is made possible by the ongoing generosity of supporters, grants and sponsors. "We rely heavily on the Kiwis who understand the seriousness of respiratory conditions and who want to make a difference," she says.

Kids aerobics legend and Jump Jam creator Brett Fairweather is one of the people making a difference in the 2022. "Brett has set up Team Jump Jam and is inviting Kiwis to join him in some of his all-time favourite workouts while raising money for the Foundation. We are so thrilled to have Jump Jam on board for Breathe Better September," says Letitia.

ARFNZ is encouraging everyone with a connection to respiratory conditions to get involved. "This is your chance to step up for yourself, or others in your life, and make a difference," says Letitia.

She emphasises that people are welcome to choose a challenge that works for them. "If you are someone with COPD and a daily walk of 10 minutes is all you can manage, then that is a great challenge for you. The options are endless: you can, walk run, dance, sing, practice a wind instrument - anything that gets your lungs working."

Once a challenge is set, participants can then rally support from friends and whānau. The Foundation hopes to raise at least $20,000 to put towards its work for the respiratory community.

For more on Breathe Better September check out the website:


View all