The extended Girl Scout family of Mia Kessinger from Medora, who commemorated the day to her memory.
GODFREY — Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois introduced a new Asthma Awareness patch Saturday at Glazebrook Park in conjunction with the 16th annual American Lung Association Asthma Awareness and Education Walk.
More than 100 people attended the event chaired by Jaris Waide, American Lung Association volunteer ambassador. Waide suffered an acute asthma attack in 1998 that caused a traumatic brain injury. Her experience inspired her to become one of the area’s leading asthma awareness advocates. Special guests included Girl Scouts from Medora who dedicated the day to their friend and fellow Girl Scout Mia Kessinger, who died earlier this year from an asthma-related event.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Program Manager Julie Fox introduced the new program, which guides girls to learn more about the respiratory system, asthma and how to respond in case of an asthma-related emergency. She also recognized Girl Scout Courtney Winkler of Glen Carbon for winning a patch design contest earlier this year with her submission depicting an advocate ribbon in light gray, the color of asthma awareness. Attendees joined together for a moment of silence and song in tribute to Mia.
Next, Joey L. Petrokovich, 911 manager of the Wood River Police Department, educated the group to increase their asthma awareness. Attendees learned information including common triggers of asthma attacks, what to do if experiencing an asthma attack and how to help someone else having an asthma attack. He also explained how 911 works, taught the best protocol when calling in an emergency and led a question and answer session.
Following the educational portion of the event, participants walked the path around Glazebrook Park and ate a pancake brunch. Waide said she plans to donate the proceeds from her fundraising event to Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois to help educate even more girls on asthma awareness.
“We’re so honored to have been part of this wonderful event and pleased to be able to increase asthma awareness as part of GSSI’s commitment to helping girls learn more about healthy living and being prepared in case of an emergency,” Fox said.
For information, visit gsofsi.org.