Liam Dulver (11) has been very ill with asthma, leading to lots of time spent off school and on hospital wards. Despite this, Liam never lets his asthma define him and he throws himself in to everything he does.
The extensive list of clubs and sports teams Liam has been involved in includes touch rugby, cricket, hockey, basketball, swimming and enviro club. The fact Liam is able to live such an active life and participate in so much sport is a testament to his attitude and how well Liam manages and controls his asthma: “I try not to let asthma stop me from doing anything. If I start to feel asthma symptoms when I run, I just take my reliever,” Liam explains.
Liam’s Dad, Karl, can vouch for Liam’s discipline with his asthma: “He took responsibility for his asthma from quite an early age. He’s quick to use his reliever when needed and religious with using his preventer”.
Liam knows the importance of exercising if you have asthma and wanted to let other people know. For World Asthma Day in 2020, when Liam was just nine, he participated in a public interview encouraging other kids with asthma to do sport and exercise.
Karl, has always been supportive of Liam’s sporting endeavours: “Sport has been helpful for Liam and his asthma. I’ve always been encouraging whenever Liam said he wanted to try something,” Karl says. “We know that the advice for kids with asthma is to do sport and exercise, use your lungs and strengthen the muscles which help you breathe normally.”
Aside from sport, Liam has also been commended on his leadership skills. “I’m really proud of my leadership award, which I was given in my year six awards ceremony. I was given it for helping to set up the school breakfast club and coming second in the year six speech contest,” Liam explains. Karl also mentions that “Liam does a good job of looking out for his friends and anyone else in his school who has asthma”.
The COVID-19 pandemic was concerning for everyone, but people with respiratory illnesses were particularly at risk. The announcement of the children’s vaccine was good news for Liam and his family, as Karl explains: “It was great when they announced the children’s vaccine. Liam got COVID-19 after being vaccinated and thankfully he was fine”.
“Just after the vaccine was released, The Dominion Post came to interview Liam about the importance of getting the vaccine. We got great feedback from other families who have children with asthma; it helped them to decide to go and get the vaccine, after hearing the benefits of it,” says Karl.
Life has thrown some tough challenges at Kayla White, but the 13-year old’s determination and spirit have seen her fight to live the life she wants. Her bravery was awarded when she received the Cody Forbes Award for Courage at the 2023 national Respiratory Achievers’ Awards.