ANDERSON – Take a deep breath. Most of us take that next breath for granted. Asthma sufferers, however, know just how precious it is. This Saturday, the first Dayvon Asthma Awareness bike ride and picnic reminds us how serious this disease is, and to take action to address it.
The event is named in memory of Dayvon McClendon of Anderson who was claimed by asthma in June this year at just 32 years old. His family and friends are pulling together to establish the bike ride and picnic. In addition to the fun of the ride, hamburgers and hot dogs, games, prizes and music, there will be informative speakers and pamphlets.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services describes asthma as a “chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways” where sufferers cough, wheeze and experience pain and difficulty breathing, frequently triggered by events or stimuli. More than 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, with about 7 million of these children.
Dayvon McClendon was one of those who coped with asthma from early childhood.
“He had a lot of problems throughout his years,” recalled Dayvon’s mom, Rosemary Townsend, of Anderson. She noted there were plenty of things that could trigger attacks. “He had allergies to pollen, mold, dust, paint, fumes, burning trash ….”
McClendon needed medications to control and react to asthma attacks.
“He didn’t have insurance,” Townsend noted. “He had one inhaler that cost over $400 – for that medication, there is no generic.” As a result, McClendon did not have all of the recommended medications.
“I think if he would have had all of his maintenance medications, it would have been different,” said Townsend. She noted how difficult it is to see someone suffer without being able to catch their breath.
McClendon earned an associate degree in business from Ball State University. He also attended Kenny Academy of Barbering. He enjoyed cutting hair and riding his motorcycle. He had four kids, ranging in age from 1 to 14. In late June this year, McClendon had just recently started a new job in construction and remodeling.