AstraZeneca Canada

AstraZeneca Canada
The Ontario Lung Association

The Ontario Lung Association

September 30, 2007 14:21 ET

Who Says You Can't Run If You Have Asthma?

Asthma Marathon Challenge Team crosses the finish line at Toronto Marathon

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2007) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via Marketwire.

Today, the Asthma Marathon Challenge (AMC) team ran to victory as participants crossed the finish line in the half and full marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The race marked the end of many months of vigorous training for twelve motivated people living with asthma who worked with a group of experts including former Olympic triathlon coach, Barrie Shepley.

The members of the AMC team include, Alissa Aboud, Tehmina Ahmed, Bob Knuckey, Jasmine Mahay, Sarah Mak, Peter Marchand, Kelly Munoz, Kim Rotermann, Gule Sheikh, Andrew Shelp, Carolyn Taylor and Lee Welsby-Benko.

"The goal of the Asthma Marathon Challenge is to raise awareness about asthma as a manageable condition - and these individuals did just that," said Chris Haromy, Respiratory Therapist, and a Certified Asthma Educator with the Ontario Lung Association Asthma Action™ Program. "Today the AMC team demonstrated that asthma need not be a barrier to an active lifestyle or a limitation to achieving one's personal or physical goals."

The AMC has been ongoing since January of this year, when AstraZeneca Canada, in partnership with the Ontario Lung Association, launched a call for applicants to join the AMC. Ontarians living with asthma were given the opportunity to apply and to prove that asthma need not be a barrier to living an active life. Twelve motivated Ontarians with asthma trained hard to run an event at the Mississauga Marathon, and then completed a half or full marathon today at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

"I'm so proud of this team - they are truly asthma ambassadors," said Barrie Shepley, AMC team coach. "Through the Asthma Marathon Challenge, we wanted to encourage Canadians living with asthma to pursue healthy lifestyles and live their lives as fully as possible."

In conjunction with the AMC, AstraZeneca is also sponsoring two up-and-coming Canadian triathlon athletes, Andre-Paul Baillargeon-Smith and Sean Bechtel, as they train for the Beijing 2008 and 2012 London Olympic Games. Both Andre-Paul and Sean have been living with respiratory dysfunction since childhood, yet have proven themselves to be two of the best triathletes in Canada and recently placed second and third at the National Triathlon Championships last month. Sean and Andre-Paul were also at today's marathon acting as a source of encouragement and inspiration for the AMC team.

For more information on the AMC program and the participants, please visit

The Ontario Lung Association

The Lung Association is among Canada's oldest voluntary, not-for-profit health-promotion organizations. The Lung Association is concerned with the prevention and control of asthma, chronic lung disease caused by smoking and with air quality and its effect on lung health. The Ontario Lung Association offers a toll-free Asthma Action Helpline (1-800-668-7682), which is answered by certified asthma educators who are trained to provide asthma education and help develop an asthma care plan with callers. The Ontario Lung Association was incorporated in 1945, and has community offices across the province. Visit the Ontario Lung Association on-line at

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a leading global pharmaceutical company with an extensive product portfolio spanning six major therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology, and respiratory. AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters and packaging facilities are located in Mississauga, Ontario, and its state-of-the-art drug discovery centre is based in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

For further information about the Asthma Marathon Challenge, or for an interview with an AMC participant, the Ontario Lung Association or former Olympic coach Barrie Shepley, please contact:

Liana Del Medico Daniela Ferri/Jaclyn Crawford
AstraZeneca Canada Inc. Edelman
Tel.: (905) 804-5819 Tel.: (416) 979-1120, ext. 272/344
(416)520-2794 (Cell)

Contact Information

  • AstraZeneca Canada Inc.
    Liana Del Medico
    (905) 804-5819
    Daniela Ferri
    (416) 979-1120, ext. 272 or Cell: (416) 520-2794
    Jaclyn Crawford
    (416) 979-1120, ext. 344