2019 is my third year participating in the Clean Air Challenge on Team Renate Schnell. As many of you know, I am not an athletic person but I am trying to stay fit, healthy, and appreciative of EVERYTHING I have.
Six years ago, I learned I was pregnant with a baby girl. Many of you know her as Alpha Mae. Alpha Mae was named after my Grandmother, Alpha Mae Ihnen. My Grandmother passed away from emphysema in 1995. We moved away from my grandparents when I was five years old and I was not close to my grandmother. At that time, all I could think was, what would I do if I lost my mom? How would I feel?
I am participating in the Clean Air Challenge in memory of my Grandmother, Alpha Mae Ihnen. Alpha Mae was born in 1930, the youngest in the family, she had five older brothers. Her parents named her Alpha Mae after Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end). Alpha married my grandfather, Earl Ihnen in 1950 at the age of 20. While Earl worked on the family farm, Alpha had five children (to include my wonderful mother!) and was an elementary school teacher. Alpha did more than most women in her generation; she had family and a successful career. Alpha also smoked a popular pastime during that era and the main cause of emphysema.
In many ways, Alpha inspired me to be who I am now. Please make a donation to the American Lung Association. For 115 years, the American Lung Association has led the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air, whether it's searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or fighting for laws that protect the air we all breathe. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. My Grandfather Earl met eighteen of his wonderful great grandchildren; I wish my Grandmother Alpha would have too.