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24 April 2019

REACH for the sky

Can you help make living life with asthma better for you and others? For Olivia Fulton, being involved with REACH meant exactly that.


Living with Brittle Asthma

Living with a chronic illness such as asthma can be tough. Long spells in hospital can make you feel isolated, recurrent acute admissions can make you fearful and struggling to manage even the simplest daily tasks can result in you feeling left behind. How do you even begin to discover a new purpose in life? Well Olivia did just that with AUKCAR:

It is hard to believe that I have been involved in the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research for 5 years now. Time has gone so quickly. I have had some amazing experiences as a result of being involved, met some wonderful people and made friendships that I hope will last for a long time yet. I say this often but AUKCAR has been life saving and life changing. I have no clue what I would be doing if I had not had that chance meeting that set about a series of events which has put me where I am now.

Research is the key

According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving treatment for asthma. Despite the currently available treatments, it is estimated that three people a day die from asthma in the UK. Research studies are key to finding solutions for preventing asthma, and also for helping people to manage their symptoms on a daily basis. This is where REACH comes in. Run by the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, REACH connects researchers with people who want to take part in asthma research.

REACH (REgister for Asthma researCH) is a database which securely stores information about people in the UK affected by asthma and who want to take part in research studies.

They know that many people who would like to take part in asthma studies never hear about opportunities to take part. Likewise, researchers often have difficulty finding enough people to take part in their studies, especially if they are looking for a people of a certain age, a particular gender, or with a particular type of asthma.

Having a database means that they can easily find groups of participants from across the UK who may be able to take part in asthma research to help improve the care of asthma.


Five reasons to register for REACH

It’s your chance to take part in asthma research

By adding your information to REACH, researchers can contact you if your details match their study. You can then choose whether to take part.

Help make daily life better for you and others with asthma

Research studies are essential to finding solutions which can help people with asthma to manage their symptoms in their day-to-day lives.

Increase what we know about asthma

12% of the UK population have been diagnosed with asthma. Through research, we can build a better picture of the condition.

Help healthcare professionals improve treatment

5.4 million people in the UK receive treatment for asthma. With research, we can help improve treatments and care.

Learn more about asthma and new treatments

If you choose to take part in a study, as well as helping researchers to learn more about the condition, you may also learn something yourself!

Other ways to get involved

There are lots of other ways you can get involved and spread the word, such as raising awareness of REACH on social media. Why not try Facebook or Twitter to highlight the opportunity to your friends and family. Or if you write a newsletter or a weekly blog why not add a short piece or a link to their site. They provide lots of help to get you started. Help them to tell as many people as possible. Why not start by reading more of what Olivia has to say:

“Having a platform such as the AUKCAR ASM or the NRS gives the opportunity to show everyone what is often hidden behind closed doors when it comes to asthma. It is so misunderstood and if people who struggle to deal with controlling it don’t speak up then the perceptions of asthma will never change. I hope that some of what I do will help make a change and help researchers, Dr’s, nurses, other health care providers and the general public about asthma and what it is really like.”

Why not REACH for the sky!?

Photo credits: Brooke Cagle, Olivia Fulton