Today we’d like to introduce you to Laonis Quinn.
Hi Laonis, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story is actually my son’s Anthony (Tony) story. Tony was first diagnosed with asthma when he was about 2 years old. He had severe asthma his entire life. When he was first diagnosed, he had an amazing pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital in Detroit. He remained under her care until she retired, which was about 7 years after he was first diagnosed. I could call her in the middle of the night when Tony was having symptoms, and she would call the 24-hour pharmacy and have some medication ordered, and then she would call the next day to make sure the medication was effective. She was so attentive to his needs… every time. After her retirement, Tony remained at the clinic, where she practiced outside of the hospital. He remained there until he turned 21 years old. They took care all of Tony’s medical needs., just like the previous doctor did. He frequented the clinic every 2 weeks or so, and sometimes more often, depended upon how often he had flare-ups. When Tony turned 21 years old, I was told they could no longer provide medical services for Tony because he would be taken off our health care insurance. There was no warning or anything; we came to the clinic as usual one day, and that was it. I begged them not to do this. Where will I go, I asked? They said you can go to a free clinic. Long story short, the free clinic was the beginning of the end. We spent a lot of nights in the emergency room. I remember Tony telling me, “Mommy, I’m tired of this” About a year or so after we went to the free clinic, Tony passed away from a fatal asthma attack. He was 23 years old. Fast forward to 4 years ago. After many years of grief and despair, I started the Breathe Anthony J Chapman Asthma Foundation. We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, that provide asthma education to our underserved community, we also provide air purifiers, pillow, and mattress covers, nebulizers, spacers, and we teach proper inhaler technique, and we teach the importance of asthma awareness. Our slogan is “We Fight Back Against Asthma” I’m proud to say God has blessed beyond measure.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
When we first started the foundation, it was a suggestion from a co-worker. I don’t remember her name or if she still works for the company; I believe she was an angel that day. I really had no idea how a foundation was supposed to be ran. I reached out to a few friends and my son; we started September 2019. I reached out the Allergy & Asthma Network, and I told them what I had in my heart to do, but I had no idea how to get there, and they have been a godsend since that day. It was a struggle during the COIVD pandemic; we had to be creative in getting the word out about our mission and what we were trying to do. We created YOU TUBE videos about different subjects pertaining to asthma. It was slow; we had no money. We continued to create the videos, and we even had an online fundraiser so that we could raise money to purchase the needed supplies to distribute to our community. Today we are on a much smoother path. We just had our 2nd annual Black-Tie Gala (actually, this was our first in-person), we had our first fundraiser via zoom.
Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in Science (MSN), also I’m a Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C). I have been an RN for over 25 years. My specialty is Critical Care. I’m very proud to be a nurse. It allows me to care for people and share my compassion for others. I take my profession very seriously; I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t a nurse.
I’m most proud of continuing my education and not letting any barriers get in the way. Also, I received my Asthma Certification almost 2 years ago; I wanted the certification so that I could teach about asthma more proficiently.
I think was sets me apart is my love for people and the love I have for Tony, in wanting the keep his legacy alive so that people will know what an amazing human being he was. He was such a giver.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc.?
I attend webinars to further enhance my understanding of asthma. Most of the webinars are provided by the Allergy & Asthma Network. I’m also the Host/Moderator of Allergy & Asthma Network’s “Black People Like Me” Facebook page. We discuss asthma and related conditions and how it affects Black and Brown people.
- Website: Breatheajcfoundation.org
- Instagram: breatheajcasthmafoundation
- Facebook: Breathe Anthony J Chapman Asthma Foundation
- Twitter: Anthony J Chapman Asthma Foundation
- Youtube: Breathe Anthony J Asthma Foundation