Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)

Supernanny Jo Frost: When Has Asthma Ever Stopped Me?

Published December - 3 - 2009 Print This Post

jofrostPart 1 of 2: Raising a Self-Reliant Child
Jo Frost Answers Your Questions

“I love traveling throughout the United States, spending two weeks with families who seriously want and need my help; it’s my passion,” says the ever-energized Jo Frost, star of ABC’s “Supernanny.” “But let’s face it — there is a lot of stress. I live literally out of my suitcase and countless hotels for months on end. The families I’m with are making not-so-easy changes. So I’ve learned it’s critically important that I take time to decompress whenever the opportunity presents. I do this by becoming an instant tourist, sampling something of each city or town I visit.”

In New York City, it was the Empire State Building. But in Arizona, it was Camelback Mountain that called. “When I saw that mountain, I knew I wanted to climb to the top. Everyone said, ‘Oh, you have to be careful because you have asthma and the elevation — let alone the climb — can give you an attack.’ And I thought, ‘When has asthma ever stopped me?’”

Jo donned a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, strapped a water bag and medication pouch around her waist, then roped a few co-workers in to take the trek with her.

“It’s not that I had anything to prove,” she says with a slightly fiendish lilt. “I knew what I could do and what I wanted to do and I knew how to do it safely. So I did!”

It was an hour and a half to the top, including three short and beautiful rests along the way. Jo paced her climb accordingly. “Your body tells you what to do, and if you listen, it will serve you well. I kept hydrated and paused when necessary. When I got to the top, I had a huge sense of accomplishment. I did this. Whether I had asthma or not wasn’t the point. I climbed 2,700 feet.”

Can-Do Attitude
Jo’s refreshingly positive approach to life is infectious, and it’s the foundation of her success as Supernanny. “I’ve had asthma since age 5, but I’m not an asthma sufferer,” she says. “Asthma and suffering are two words that don’t belong together. You solve asthma problems the way you do anything else in life: Define the problem, set a goal and your plan, then get on with it.” …

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In the full article, you can also read Jo’s answers to questions such as this one:
For families of children with severe asthma who require a lot of parental monitoring of health status and medications, how do you balance the need to be (over) protective with the need to promote their independence and self-reliance? Barbara, of Huntingdon Valley, PA  
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