Phillies battle asthma

Despite the rain and a slumping offense, Phillies fans breathed a little easier last week at the team’s second annual Teva Respiratory Asthma Awareness Night.

Doctors and nurses from Asthma and Allergy Specialists performed free screenings near the ballpark gates. Ten percent of the city’s population, or about 150,000 residents, have the chronic condition.

“It’s important to do this event here because Philly is ranked No. 9 out of the top 10 most challenging places to live with asthma,” said Denise Brady of Teva.

To coincide with the event, severe asthma sufferer Cooper Pike of Cherry Hill, N.J., threw out the first pitch. When asked how he felt, the 7-year-old, who practiced for weeks in preparation, had one word: “excited.”

“It’s great because the game attracts all age levels, from little kids to adults,” said Dr. Shash­ank Sheith. “Also, it’s a sporting event and asthma affects athletes quite a bit.”

Last year, 124 people were screened at the event and 50 percent were diagnosed with asthma.

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