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Teaming Up to "Take Charge of Asthma"


National Jewish Health, Daniel Graham and Josh McDaniels to host series of events at Denver Public Schools


Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels and tight end Daniel Graham are teaming up with National Jewish Health to help children in Denver Public Schools better control their asthma and miss fewer days of school. Both McDaniels and Graham suffer from chronic asthma.

"Asthma hasn't kept me on the sidelines, and it doesn't have to keep you there either," said Graham. "The experts at National Jewish Health and Denver Public Schools can help you learn how to monitor and manage your asthma so that you can get in the game and lead an active, healthy life."

On Wednesday, April 14 at North High School, The Denver Public Schools Asthma Program, the Daniel Graham Foundation and the Denver Broncos Foundation will kick-off their "Take Charge of Asthma" community partnership with the first of a series of asthma education programs. McDaniels and Graham will be the special guest speakers. Stanley Szefler, MD, National Jewish Health, Director of the DPS Asthma Program, will also speak. The event will begin at 6 pm with doors opening at 5:45.

"Coach McDaniels and Mr. Graham serve as tremendous role models to show kids that asthma does not need to hold them back," said Dr. Szefler. "We are thrilled to partner with both of these extraordinary men to help parents and children better manage their asthma."

More than 5,000 children in Denver Public Schools suffer from asthma. The DPS Asthma Program works with children, parents and schools to diagnose asthma and to teach students and their parents how to manage the disease. Studies show that proper asthma management not only helps children lead active lives, but can also reduce the number of days they miss school.

Wednesday's kick-off event will set the stage for a series of Asthma Nights at DPS. At the three Asthma Nights in April and May, students, parents and school staff will receive asthma education and information on the DPS Asthma program from Dr. Szefler, McDaniels and Graham. Other Asthma Nights will be held at 6 pm April 28th at Thomas Jefferson High School and May 5th at Montbello High School.

Josh McDaniels grew up in Northeast Ohio where he was a quarterback and kicker at nationally prominent Canton McKinley Senior High School. While earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics from John Carroll University from 1995-98, McDaniels played wide receiver for the school. He began his coaching career in 1999 as a graduate assistant at Michigan State University before breaking into the NFL coaching ranks with the New England Patriots in 2001.

During eight years with the Patriots (2001-08), including three seasons with the club as its offensive coordinator, McDaniels helped the team win three Super Bowls, four AFC Championships and six division titles. He became the fifth-youngest head coach in NFL history when the Broncos hired him on Jan. 12, 2009, and guided Denver to a 6-0 start in his inaugural campaign that tied for the third-best start by a rookie head coach in NFL history. Josh was diagnosed with asthma at a young age. Josh and his wife, Laura, have two children: Jack Thomas and Maddie.

Daniel Graham grew up attending Denver Public Schools: Samuels Elementary, Hamilton Middle School, and High School at Thomas Jefferson High School. He also attended the University of Colorado and was drafted in the first round in 2002 by New England Patriots. Daniel signed with the Denver Broncos in 2006. He shares the same commitment as his mother, Marilyn, to give back to the community. In 2006 Daniel and Marilyn Graham created the Daniel Graham Foundation, which serves families in the Denver metropolitan area by sponsoring events throughout the year that provide opportunities for area youth to discover their inner strength and values through health, education and community services.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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