My Lung Letter
My name is Stuart Broad, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make my passion my profession by being an England international cricketer since 2006. Every detail of my career is there for anyone to see, but what you probably don’t know is that like millions of others in the UK, I suffer from asthma. This is my lung letter.
Asthma has been a part of my life from a young age. I have grown to deal with it and see it as part of who I am today, but it’s not always been that way. It’s been a journey. My asthma could have easily set me onto a different career path, but I refused to let it define me. I learnt to manage my condition, taking it in my stride like a step in my bowling run-up and now I’m proud to say I’m defined by my dreams, not by my asthma.
Watch the video to find out more about my asthma story.
Symptoms & Triggers
Having suffered with asthma from a young age, I’ve constantly been learning how to recognise my symptoms and triggers. As I’ve got older and more experienced, I’ve developed ways to deal with these, whether I’m just at home or bowling for England.
Cold weather, high humidity or even heavy pollution are all triggers I’ve learned to deal with. Whether I’m gearing up for a run on a frosty Nottinghamshire morning, or in the middle of a Test Series in India, I’ve learned to recognise and manage my triggers with methods that I’ve honed over many years.
To find out more about how I identify and manage my triggers, especially whilst bowling, watch my video.
I’m not afraid or ashamed of my asthma. It's part of who I am and I share it openly, but I’ve not always felt that way. I know stigma exists around the condition and it’s something I certainly felt when I was much younger, but I want that feeling to be a thing of the past.
No-one should be embarrassed by their condition and as I’ve got older my outlook on my asthma has changed significantly. I no longer feel that stigma and the first step to getting there was sharing with those close to me.
To learn more about how I’ve changed my mindset on the stigmas surrounding asthma, watch the video.
I’m proud of what I have achieved in my career. From making my England debut in 2006 to taking my 500th Test wicket in 2020 I’ve done it all whilst managing my asthma.
Asthma can all too often be seen as a barrier to achieving goals, but I’ve never seen it that way. Through good communication and management of my asthma, I’ve learned to control my condition to continue delivering for the team.
Watch the video to learn more about how sharing my asthma story with my teammates has helped me manage my condition when I was on England duty.
My asthma could have had a much bigger effect on my career path had it not been for my support network. Leaning on the people who know me, and my condition best, has been vital to getting me where I am today.
At the centre of my support network is my Mum. From day one she’s been helping me manage my asthma, encouraging me to learn, adapt and manage my condition one day at a time.
Find out more about the importance of support networks, and how tackling asthma as a team has helped me, by watching the video.
From my experience…
I’ve learned countless lessons on my asthma journey, from how to recognise my symptoms and triggers, to learning how to overcome the stigma I felt when I was younger.
Some lessons I learnt alone and some I learnt from others, but if I could share just one piece of advice with you it would be to talk to others about your condition. Growing your support network can be one of the biggest assets in helping to manage your condition.
To find out why this advice was important to me, watch the video.
If I’d let my asthma define me who knows what kind of career I would have had? I believe life is all about challenges and experiences.
If you feel inspired by my story and want to start a new challenge in your life, always remember to seek the advice of your doctor or asthma nurse as a first step.
So, here’s my challenge to 2x Olympic Gold Medal-winning Boxer and fellow ambassador Nicola Adams to step out of the ring… and into the cricket nets.
Watch the video to hear more about my challenge to Nicola.