April 20, 2018
Every breath a winner
A Napier woman who completed an IronMaori event despite having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was a winner at this year’s New Zealand Respiratory Achievers' Awards.
Aketaunga Pureau has learned to manage her lung disease, even becoming a pulmonary rehabilitation programme trainer.
Asthma and Respiratory Foundation chief executive Letitia O’Dwyer says respiratory disease costs the country $6 billion a year.
One in seven children, and one in nine adults have asthma.
The awards are about honouring the achievements of inspiring New Zealanders living with a respiratory condition, as well as recognising there is still a long way to go to address respiratory issues in New Zealand.
Other winners included Cybele Souza, who sings in the Christchurch City Chorus despite a lifetime of asthma including many hospital admissions, and Inosandreia Nesi Tike from Auckland, who was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and chronic asthma on the week of her first birthday and keeps active through traditional Tongan dancing.
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