Ella manages her condition by regularly sees her paediatrician and her GP in between to maintain her asthma. She is currently on multiple medications, including oral steroids (Prednisone) which she has been taking full time for two years, Duolin and Vanair Preventor, Montelukast, Ventolin and antihistamines daily. She also sees her asthma nurse as she needs.
Ella is always willing to take part in all school activities including Physical Education. She is a member of her school choir which can be challenging with her breathing restrictions. Ella played netball last winter for her school and her team won the Blenheim Junior Grade 4 competition.
Ella’s gymnastics coach Janice Belgrave says, “I believe Ella’s greatest achievement last year was her success as a competitive gymnast. Competitive gymnastics requires strength of character as well as physical strength, and Ella gave 100% throughout the whole season.”
This dedication and determination in the face of all her challenges, paid off. Ella won the Mosey Grayson Memorial Competition for Step Three in May. She went on to come 5th overall out of 36 girls in her division, at the Marlborough Gymnastics Championships, with a second place on the vault.
She continued her success with a fantastic 1st place overall with a winning margin of three points at the Top of the South Gymnastics Competition. Ella then travelled to Christchurch to take part in the Canterbury Junior Championships, where she came 4th overall, with a silver medal on beam.
“Given the extent of Ella’s respiratory and allergic challenges, I believe she not only lives live to the full and to the best of her ability, but achieves more than many children who are not facing the challenges she faces on a daily basis,” says Janice.
Renee Urlich is the proud mumma of her son Alex, a 13-year-old from Wellington who has asthma. Alex is a keen young sportsman who has been on quite the journey in managing his asthma and finding the right medication, at the same time setting his sporting goals and achieving them! Renee tells their asthma journey to date.
Gail Vincent from Tauranga has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She has what is called extensive ‘emphysematous bullous’ which means the alveoli are damaged and enlarged, forming exceptionally large air spaces, and this occurs on both lungs.
At 83 years old, Mervyn has seen firsthand the advancement of asthma treatment! He talks about the ups and downs and how he manages to live a full life despite the challenges.