The Lung Association – We are the Christmas Seal people

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‘All I want for Christmas is to get a good night’s sleep’ was Lorne’s wish. This Yorkton resident had his request granted once he was diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea. According to the Canadian Public Health Agency 26 per cent of the adult population are at high risk for sleep apnea and that translates to 220,000 Saskatchewan residents.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or sleep apnea, is the most common sleep disorder in Canada and Saskatchewan is no exception. The word apnea means no breathing, and sleep apnea refers to pauses in breathing that occur during sleep. On average, these pauses last for 10 to 30 seconds, until the brain reacts to overcome the problem. With each episode of apnea, blood oxygen levels are reduced, and sleep is disturbed because the sleeper has to wake briefly to resume breathing.

“The sleeper is literally suffocating,” says Brian Graham, the Lung Association's President and CEO. “Moreover the sleeper typically does not become fully awake and usually has no recollection of the awakening. This cycle happens repeatedly throughout the night, interfering with the normal sleep pattern that we all need to feel rested and refreshed in the morning.”

Since 1917 The Lung Association has used the revenue raised from our annual Christmas Seals Campaign to fund the programs and services that the residents of our great province have come to rely on. We are active in communities across Saskatchewan providing training for health care professionals, delivering health education in schools, facilitating patient support groups, lobbying for clean air and conducting lung disease prevention and management programs that include asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, lung cancer and smoking cessation.

The 2013 Christmas Seals feature heart-warming designs befitting the tradition of sending cards to friends and family celebrating the holiday season. For those that wish to share holiday cheer electronically, you can send a Christmas Seals e-card. When Christmas Seals arrive in your mail box, the Lung Association asks you to give generously.

"We couldn't do all of this wonderful work without our donors and support from the public. Thank you for your generosity during the holiday season and throughout the year," adds Brian Graham.

Donations can be made by responding to our mail appeal, making a secure online donation at www.sk.lung.ca/donation or by calling us during regular office hours in Saskatoon at 343-9511 or 1-888-566-LUNG (5864) elsewhere in the province.

Established in 1911, The Lung Association is Saskatchewan's oldest and most respected health charity. We are the leading organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs, and advocacy on lung health issues in Saskatchewan.

Organizations: The Lung Association, Canadian Public Health Agency

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada, Saskatoon

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