WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist and most recent winner of Dancing With the Stars, has been named chairperson for the 2008 American Lung Association Christmas Seals Campaign in an effort to help raise funds in support of the organization's mission: to prevent lung disease and promote lung health.
The American Lung Association Christmas Seals tradition began in 1907 to conquer Tuberculosis. Today, the Lung Association is fighting new battles, including the fight against influenza. On average each year, about 36,000 people die and roughly 226,000 people are hospitalized because of influenza and its complications (such as pneumonia). Nearly 250 million Americans -- more than 4 out of 5 -- are recommended for annual influenza vaccinations this year.
"We are thrilled that Kristi is joining us this year as chairperson of our annual Christmas Seals Campaign," said Bernadette Toomey, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "She has been a great friend of our organization for several years and we're honored to have her involvement."
Kristi is committed to supporting the American Lung Association in its efforts to promote lung health, not only through the Christmas Seals Campaign, but also as national spokesperson for the organization's Faces of Influenza educational initiative, which teaches families about the dangers of influenza and the need to be immunized.
"Throughout my skating career, my doctor always stressed the importance of an annual influenza vaccination to maintain my health. Today, as a mother of two young children, I realize my whole family needs to be immunized against influenza to help protect their respiratory health. It's a responsibility I take very seriously and that's why I have joined forces with the American Lung Association in this important initiative."
Over the next month, more than 12 million Americans will receive a letter from Kristi along with the familiar decorative holiday stamps, urging them to open their hearts to the Lung Association this holiday season.
"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 in its important fight against lung disease," Kristi continued.
Please visit http://www.lungusa.org for more information or to make a donation to the American Lung Association.
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 "Improving life, one breath at a time." 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 http://www.lungusa.org.
SOURCE American Lung Association