The Catholic University of America

May 29, 2008

CUA Student to Help Lead D.C. Asthma Walk

MaryLee Adams, a junior musical theatre major, will help kick off the DC-Metro Asthma Walk on June 28 at the Tidal Basin.
Nothing can keep rising junior MaryLee Adams from pursuing her love of music. Not even a lifelong struggle with asthma.

The musical theater major from Columbia, Md., will perform the national anthem on Saturday, June 28, at the 2008 DC-Metro Blow the Whistle on Asthma Walk sponsored by the American Lung Association. The walk will raise funds for asthma education, research and advocacy to help the estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from the disease.

Adams serves as the family team chairperson for the event and as a spokesperson for the D.C. Chapter of the American Lung Association. She will also deliver a speech at the kickoff of the walk at the Tidal Basin adjacent to the National Mall.

When she was 2 years old Adams was hospitalized and nearly died before she was diagnosed with asthma. She has no memory of living without the disease, but she has not allowed it to affect her life. She has enjoyed playing sports and singing.

"It's really important to create awareness that you can manage asthma," Adams says. "It can be life threatening, but you can still lead an active and healthy life."

She noted that "a lot of people let asthma hold them back. I prefer to control it instead of letting it control me. Where other people don't think about breathing, it's something I think about constantly. I'm so aware if I'm even a little bit short of breath."

Those interested in joining the walk can go to the American Lung Association's D.C. Metro Web site to sign up and create a team or join Adams' team, MaryLee's Marchers. The Web site is

- 30 -