I discovered Haika Clothing during a time when Ethan's asthma was pretty bad and let's just say...it was love at first tagline. Asthma does suck. As a former nebulizer kid myself, I get it. I get it tenfold when I have to struggle to keep Ethan's nebulizer mask on his little face, the familiar scent of albuterol filling the air as he cries, screams, begs for me to turn the machine off. I've never been shy about Ethan's struggles with asthma. If anything, I've been more vocal about it as time goes on. Having contracted RSV at five months old, Ethan's respiratory troubles began then and didn't seem to want to quit. At three, he is well on track -- hopefully -- to outgrowing his pediatric asthma. His issues are less frequent and they don't typically last as long. He hasn't had an actual attack for close to a year now (stop what you're doing and knock on the nearest piece of wood). Still, as anyone who has ever witnessed an asthma attack would understand, it's pretty chilling and not so easy to forget. Whenever he runs too hard and begins to cough or needs to catch his breath, my heart drops to the pit of my stomach in panic. Where others have decorative items perched nicely on their sofa end tables, we have a nebulizer machine and boxes of nebulizer steroids and medications. Asthma has just sort of become a part of our lives, but I'm not willing to let it hold Ethan back.
If there's one thing I've noticed since being the parent to an asthmatic child, it's the way people tend to trivialize the importance of asthma. Unfortunately, asthma is more common than most people realize (300 million people worldwide are asthma sufferers!) and is only increasing. There are many things that non-asthmatics take for granted: running, working out, swimming, athletics -- and having the opportunity to do these things without the assistance of an inhaler. For Ethan, a whole lot of hard play often results in need for a breathing treatment. He's become almost accustomed to it at this point and, luckily, the frequency of him needing treatments is decreasing with his age. It's still hard to not sit back and realize how unfair it is that a child should be concerned with breathing in addition to carefree play. We get a lot of "but I don't want to take a breather, mommy!" quips. Because of my emotional investment in asthma due to Ethan's journey, I have become pretty involved in asthma awareness and fundraising. With that concept in mind, I want to introduce you to a very awesome guy who has set out to do just that!
That up there is Justin! Justin is the creator of Haika Clothing. Haika means asthma in Tagalong. Being Filipino himself, Justin wanted to incorporate his heritage in with a company he cared so very much about. Justin has had asthma his entire life, from a nebulizer at a young age to a preventative inhaler now as an adult. If there's anyone who understands the struggle of living with asthma it's Justin, and I am grateful for his desire to speak up on behalf of everyone living with asthma! Haika's motto is "Take Control" and that's exactly the vision Justin had when creating Haika. He wanted asthmatics everywhere to take control of their lives, to not let the fear of asthma get the best of them and stop them from living. I think that's something we can all get behind.
Justin has a love for the outdoors, including hiking, snowboarding, skateboarding and mountain biking, and he never let his asthma take that all away from him. Because of his passion towards an active lifestyle, Justin created Haika's clothing with active lifestyles in mind. As the token family athlete, my husband got to test run one of Haika's super comfortable t-shirts. Having handpicked the most comfortable, soft materials, Justin ensured Haika's t-shirts and sweatshirts make perfect work-out gear. They are lightweight, soft and perfect for a jog, walk, run (or bike ride, in my husband's case). They are also so light and comfortable that they're perfect for sipping a latte and laying on the couch (you know, how I exercise).
Haika's t-shirts are the perfect "favorite trusty t-shirt" that you reach for first in your closet when you need to be comfortable. They're also super high quality making them perfect for wearing out and about, too. I've noticed that because of the thin, soft material, the t-shirts dry very quickly. Whether it's sweat (hey, we're Floridians, leave us alone) or water from wrangling Ethan out of the pool (which should be considered an Olympic sport), the shirt dries in no time.
With each purchase of one of Haika's amazingly comfortable t-shirts or sweatshirts, $5 is donated to an asthma organization in your area. I already love the concept of Haika's tees and sweats being perfect for maintaining an active lifestyle (take that, asthma!) but I even more so love the personalized way that Haika gives back. Your support for this fabulous clothing line goes right back into your community!
For every person who says to me "you know, I have asthma, too" or "I also had asthma when I was a child," I realize how big an epidemic asthma truly is. And, of course, I realize how important it is that everyone takes control of their lives and realizes that nothing is ever out of reach. Nothing is ever impossible. Like I said before, isn't that something we can all get behind?
To browse Haika's entire collection of men and women's t-shirts and unisex sweatshirts, visit haikaclothing.com.
Don't forget to stay up to speed with Haika on your favorite social media channels, too! Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great ways to keep yourself connected for deals and latest news! Speaking of news, Haika has some exciting new news about products for kiddos coming soon so make sure you get connected!