The winners in the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s 2023 Achievers’ Awards have been revealed at a ceremony held in Wellington last night.
The awards honour and celebrate the achievements of New Zealanders living with respiratory conditions. "The Foundation set up this event many years ago to highlight the successes of outstanding individuals who have to work harder than most to achieve their goals. Managing a respiratory condition takes ongoing determination, courage and a positive mindset. All the winners honoured at this event are amazing role models, who manage their conditions every day while excelling in sports, academics, leadership, community service and advocacy," says Foundation Chief Executive Letitia Harding.
The winners announced at the 2023 Respiratory Achievers’ Awards are:
Cody Forbes Award for Courage
Kayla White, 13, Nelson: Kayla has defied the odds and her doctors’ predictions by surviving a serious lung condition and living an active, full life on 70% lung capacity.
Lifetime Service Award
Ann Wheat, Asthma NZ, Auckland: Ann has worked tirelessly over the last two decades serving the asthma community in Auckland. She frequently goes to extraordinary lengths to provide care for her patients.
Asthma (5 - 12 years old)
Liam Dulver, 11, Lower Hutt: Liam has been hospitalised every year with asthma since he was six months old, but despite this he has excelled in sport, academics and leadership.
Asthma (13- 18 years old)
Mohammed Umair Khan, 16, Mangere: Umair is a skilled footballer, who has achieved in his sport by working hard to build his lung capacity to match his peers.
Taumata o Te RÄ Nga Hau e Wha o Te Motu, Meremere: Taumata has used his experience with severe asthma to educate and give back to others.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Gary Syme, Christchurch: Gary has voluntarily led the Bishopdale Better Breathing community group for the past three years, while managing his own condition.
Other Respiratory Conditions
Edward Lee, Wellington: Ed has been a leading advocate for the break-through Cystic Fibrosis drug Trikafta in New Zealand and has supported others with CF throughout his own journey.
Claire Richards, Tawa: Clare is an asthma educator of 15 years’ experience, who now works for the Porirua Asthma Service. She is an incredible advocate for her patients and community, going above and beyond to ensure they receive support.
Maryana Garcia, NZME
Maryana wrote the sensitive and informative article "Living with asthma ‘frightening’" which was published in the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post in May 2022.
The 2023 Respiratory Achievers’ Awards were made possible by generous funding from the Foundation’s platinum sponsor G.J. Gardner Homes.