Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Post People

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Post People

Article excerpt

Asthma, the most common chronic childhood disease, affects more than five million school-age children in the United States. Sadly, millions of children miss out on fun activities because of their asthma. For U.S. Olympic medalist Amy Van Dyken, that certainly was the message.

"When I was a child, my doctor said I had the worst case of asthma he'd ever seen," says the 27-year-old. "I couldn't walk up the stairs by myself, go on field trips, or even play at recess."

People were always saying, "Little Amy can't do this." Amy learned to hate the word "can't."

"My doctor encouraged me to start swimming to exercise my lungs," she says. "It was six years before I could even swim a full lap, but I never gave up." Four gold medals later, she is still in the swim and has teamed up with such fellow athletes as Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis to form The Asthma All-Stars. These champions share stories of meeting the challenges of asthma to encourage the nation's 17 million asthma patients to take steps to better manage the disease.

"Whether you're going for the gold or just splashing around," Amy tells asthma sufferers, "don't let asthma get in your way!"

"The news of the day is so goofy at times, it just seems to fit into couplets and rhymes," says veteran broadcaster Charles Osgood, anchor of "CBS News Sunday Morning" and the radio program "The Osgood Files." That is Osgood's way of explaining why he reports the news in poetry instead of prose. …

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