May 5, 2000
Kenilworth, NJ The 16th annual "Will To Win" Asthma Athlete Scholarship program for high school scholar-athletes with asthma is under way.
Sponsored by Schering/KEY, a marketing unit of Schering Laboratories, the "Will To Win" program will grant $35,000 in scholarships to 10 high school seniors who have become accomplished athletes despite the challenge of asthma. The top winner will receive a $10,000 Gold Award with four $5,000 Silver Awards and five $1000 Bronze Awards also to be granted.
Incidence of Asthma Highest Among African Americans and Urban Youth
Although asthma is on the rise, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reports that 80 percent of deaths from asthma occur in urban areas with African Americans three to four times more likely than Whites to be hospitalized for asthma, and four to six times more likely to die from the disease. "Clearly, asthma is an escalating inner-city problem," said Adrienne Lee, director of Key Respiratory marketing, Schering/KEY. "One of our goals with the `Will To Win' scholarship program is to reach urban youngsters with a positive message about succeeding despite the challenge of asthma."
Major factors believed to contribute to high inner-city asthma rates include elevated levels of indoor allergens, specially cockroach allergen, tobacco smoking by primary caretakers and high indoor levels of nitrogen dioxide, a respiratory irritant produced by inadequately vented stoves and heating appliances.
Asthma Can Be Managed Successfully
The purpose of Schering/Key's annual program is to demonstrate to America's five million young asthmatics that their condition, when properly treated and managed, need not limit their success. The scholarships also emphasize Schering/KEY's commitment to the concept of asthma co-management. In keeping with the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health, asthma co-management has proven to be an effective preventative through regular exercise, careful monitoring, and close coordination between doctor and patient.
Scholarship applications and posters may be obtained by calling "The Will To Win" hotline at 1-800-558-7305. Applications can also be obtained at www.schoolasthma.com. The deadline for entries is May 15, 2000.
"Asthma scholarship winners excel in more than sports," said Dr. Raymond G. Slavin, director of the allergy and immunology division at St. Louis University Medical School in St. Louis, MO and Chairman of the Scholarship Judging Panel. "Winners are typically excellent students and are active in community affairs."