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American Lung Association Celebrates 101st Annual Christmas Seals Campaign
Date:11/18/2008

Visit www.christmasseals.org to learn more, make a donation or send a Christmas Seals e-card

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Millions will receive Christmas Seals in the mail this month, courtesy of the American Lung Association. These decorative holiday stamps are part of an annual fundraising tradition dating back to 1907 when the Lung Association led efforts to conquer tuberculosis.

"Most Americans alive today have no vivid memories of how widespread deadly tuberculosis was before the 1950s, but it claimed entire families and struck down people from all walks of life, often in their prime," said Bernadette Toomey President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

In 1907, tuberculosis sanatoriums were springing up around the country, but most were makeshift and could only care for a few patients at a time. One of these sanatoriums in Delaware, which was in desperate financial straights, was run by a doctor named Joseph Wales, who asked his cousin Emily Bissell for help in raising money to help care for patients. Emily came up with the idea for the Christmas Seals and the American Lung Association has used this concept for over one hundred years.

"While we have a rich history with our Christmas Seals and the fight against tuberculosis, the Lung Association is now waging new battles, including the fight against influenza and the fight for cleaner air," said Toomey.

The American Lung Associations is working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health by working with lawmakers to protect the air we breathe, conducting clinical research on lung disease, and teaching children with asthma and their caregivers to understand and manage their illness, so they can lead more normal lives. Each year, thousands quit smoking through American Lung Association sponsored programs and thousands more people living with lung disease receive needed support through Better Breathers Clubs across the country.

Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist and most recent winner of Dancing With the Stars, is chairperson for the 2008 American Lung Association Christmas Seals Campaign.

"I know many families have been affected by the economy, but I hope those who are able to contribute will carry on the Christmas Seals tradition and make a donation to support the American Lung Association," said Kristi.

The American Lung Associations urges people to visit www.christmasseals.org to learn more about the history of Christmas Seals, to view past Christmas Seals, to make a donation or to send a holiday e-card.

Note to the media: to download Christmas Seal artwork, please visit http://lungusa.mediaseed.tv.

About the American Lung Association: Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates are currently increasing while other major causes of death are declining. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air." For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to www.lungusa.org.


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SOURCE American Lung Association
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