This winter, Asthma Australia is encouraging schools, childcare centres and work places to stay in their PJs to make a difference to those with asthma by hosting a PJ Day.

PJ Day is a fun way to get involved, wear your pyjamas for the day and raise funds for life-changing asthma research, education and support.

Asthma is a serious respiratory condition with no known cure. It is one of the leading reasons for school absences and childhood hospitalisations right around the country. One in nine or 2.7 million Australians are affected by it.

As a toddler, eleven-year-old Beatrice Connolly was diagnosed with severe asthma. In one year she missed up to 56 days of school. Beatrice is a passionate advocate for finding a cure for asthma.  She is hosting a PJ Day at her school, St Andrew’s Christian College in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

60588256_2021088058018475_21523889301487616_n

Beatrice said having severe asthma was sometimes really hard but she had great friends who sent her cards when she missed too much school.

“I’m hosting PJ Day because I want them to find a cure for asthma, so I don’t have to go to hospital. Hospitals are very boring. Many people die from asthma so we have to find a cure,” Beatrice said.

Funds raised from PJ Day will help advance important research projects through Asthma Australia’s research program, such as a leading study involving Dr Connie Xia, an expert in asthma research based at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Connie said the study has outstanding potential to deliver a new class of inhaled medication for asthma, in particular for steroid-resistant severe asthma.

“I have a couple of close friends’ children that are suffering from asthma, and I know how badly the disease is affecting the entire family, not just the ill kids.

“I and a lot of other scientists in this area truly hope that we can find a way to help these people whom are suffering from this disease. We couldn’t make progress without research grants, like the one we have received from Asthma Australia.

“Our research is focusing on developing new drugs to improve the control of severe asthma. We have made a very exciting breakthrough into an enzyme which is activated in the airway by a viral infection leading to the ineffectiveness of the steroids’ treatment. We are hoping to release our findings later this year,” Dr Connie said.

AA PJ Day 2019_NoTagline-Rev

CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman is passionate about the difference asthma research has made.

She said several decades ago, there were up to 1000 asthma related deaths each year and people spent long periods in bed or hospitals.

“As a result of considerable investment in research, we’ve come a long way in our understanding of asthma. However, asthma is still having a big impact on individuals, their families and our community.  Staying in your pyjamas for PJ Day is a positive way to support this important cause,” she said.

Asthma Australia’s national fundraising and awareness campaign PJ Day has been held since 2009 to raise funds for asthma research and education services. To hold a PJ Day, simply choose any day in winter for your school, childcare centre or workplace, register it at pjday.org.au and receive your fundraising kit.

You can also fundraise via Everyday Hero once you’ve registered. All funds raised go toward Asthma Australia’s research program, education and support services.