Keith Munday is a true Asthma Hero.
In November 2015, Fallon Munday suddenly fell victim to the respiratory condition, which she always saw as something minor, that didn’t affect her life all that much. A mild case of asthma is all it took when she suddenly passed away just days before her 21st birthday. Casually sitting at home watching TV with her little sister, Chloe, shortly after lunch, Fallon started to feel her chest tightening, as if she was struggling to breath. She told Chloe, but shortly suffered an asthma attack that hit far quicker than a lot of people would ever expect. After calling an ambulance, Chloe called their parents, Keith and Leonie, who were on their way home from a trip to Augusta, to let them know that their eldest daughter was having an asthma attack. Time unfortunately wasn’t on Fallon side, as she sadly passed away that day in their Byford family home.
In her strength and legacy, Keith Munday – Fallon’s father, created his own version of a pub crawl, the Augusta Asthma Adventure. Relying on his vibrant, late daughters’ memory, Keith walked almost 300km’s from Byford to Augusta. Along the way, Keith stopped at 12 different pubs for a pint and to share his story and gather communities in Fallon’s name, to raise money and awareness for the Asthma Foundation.
The adventure began on the 30th of April 2016 at the Byford Tavern, where Keith held his first event full of games participated in, and prizes won, by friends and family, which raised over $1,700. Bright and early the next morning, Keith set off walking his first 34km to the Stud Country Tavern, North Dandalup. Next was Pinjarra, Waroona, Harvey and Brunswick, which then followed in to Bunbury where Keith held his Half Way Quiz Night. The next night at Capel was full of karaoke and the joys of cracking the $10,000 goal. A new spring was welcomed into Keith’s step as his motivational highs were in check! Busselton, Cowaramup, Margaret River and Karridale were a little bit easier on the beer belly, and Keith took that opportunity to catch up on his beauty sleep in light of the big finale!
On Friday the 12th of May, Keith, his good mate Shaye, his friends and family, all walked the final stretch from Karridale to Augusta. Nearly 300km’s completed in 12 days, Keith ended his adventure raising over $30,000. Succeeding in his goal of raising awareness of the severity of asthma, Keith sincerely spread word on how asthma affects the lives of so many people we love and who surround us every day. Keith, his daughters Fallon and Chloe, and their mother, Leonie, had no idea of the repercussions of asthma. By just assuming that one puff every now and then was enough, they learnt the hard way how important asthma education and preventative medication is.
“It is what it is. It was what it was.” Keith Munday
So far, Keith has raised over $41,000 for Asthma WA, which is distributed via Fallon’s Fund.
Like many young Australians with asthma, Fallon Munday underestimated the severity of her respiratory disease. Days out from her 21st birthday, Fallon was at a crossroad. Living the typical university student life, she was greatly on a budget and, unfortunately, her asthma medication didn’t appear as a necessity in her predicament between that and a new birthday dress. As Fallon was only diagnosed in her early teens, and had never before experienced severe asthma, there were no warning signs to show that that decision would result in her never making it to her 21st birthday.
“We did harp on to (Fallon) go and get a preventative and we’d say to her, ‘make sure you’ve got a puffer in your handbag, in your car and at your friends’ houses’ but she often didn’t buy them.” – Fallon’s Dad, Keith Munday
Seeking to support people with asthma by providing timely, reliable and affordable access to prescribed asthma medications, Asthma WA, along with the Pharmacy Guild WA, applied a sum of the amount raised in the Augusta Asthma Adventure, and created “Fallon’s Fund”.
People living with asthma like Fallon was, deserve an ease of access to medications that assist in saving their lives, and costs should not be a barrier to this. Fallon’s Fund was designed to help West Australians better understand and manage asthma through three key strategies, being:
1) Subsidised asthma medications
2) Expanded role of pharmacists in asthma care
3) Consumer asthma self-management education and information support services
Fallon’s Fund is immensely beneficial to families struggling to pay for asthma medication, and has been designed to help West Australian families better understand and manage asthma. By developing and implementing a simple, nonjudgmental program which families undergoing economic hardship are able to claim benefits from, this program will also inform and educate on correct asthma management. No family or friend should have to go through the heartbreaking experience of losing someone close to them, to a preventable situation.