Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anika Noni Rose named chairperson for Christmas Seals

Actress, singer, and Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose is serving as the American Lung Association’s 2012 Christmas Seals® Celebrity Chairperson for a second consecutive year to share her story of her struggle with asthma and to support the organization’s century old fight against lung disease.

Christmas Seals, used to decorate holiday cards and packages, were first issued by the Lung Association in 1907 to combat tuberculosis. Today, it is the nation’s oldest direct-mail fundraising campaign and the money raised helps the Lung Association fight new battles against lung cancer, influenza, asthma, tobacco use, air pollution and more.  Throughout its illustrious history, the Christmas Seals Campaign has been supported by movie stars and singers alike, including Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and many others.

“Anika Noni Rose’s ongoing support of our Christmas Seals Campaign elevates the Lung Association’s ability to speak out for those who have asthma, and to generate awareness about the importance of lung health and asthma management,” said Ross P. Lanzafame, National Volunteer Chair of the American Lung Association.

She was the star of such Broadway shows as “Caroline, or Change,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and the Lincoln Center revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.” Ms. Rose also starred in hit films like “Dreamgirls,” Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” and the upcoming film “Half of a Yellow Sun.”  Her television credits include CBS’s “The Good Wife,” HBO’s “The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency,” and “Company” for PBS.  Ms. Rose manages her asthma every day to make sure it does not get in the way of her successful career.

Ms. Rose was diagnosed with asthma when she was in graduate school.  She remarked how she “didn’t believe the doctor.”  Further, she recalled, “One day, I was sitting in my living room and I kept hearing a high-pitched whistle – one of those background noises that can drive you batty!  I went around the house checking the stove, the heater, and [I] even turned off the TV.  I finally realized that it was me.  It was my chest that was whistling!”  Ms. Rose noted that this marked the beginning of her journey with asthma, and it presents itself as a constant struggle for her health, and her passion for music.

“I have been working closely with the American Lung Association for several years to do everything I can to help people with asthma better manage their disease,” said Ms. Rose. “I know through personal experience what a struggle it can be, but it is possible to lead a healthy and productive life, and I want to share that with others.”

For more information on the American Lung Association’s Christmas Seals Campaign, please

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