Get to know Mia Fritsch-Anderson!
We want to highlight someone who has supported not only Mobile Care, but asthma patients across the world. Mia Fritsch-Anderson uses Instagram and Tiktok to make learning about asthma FUN! She is constantly creating engaging and educational videos, which you can find here. Mia, a high school senior living in Chicago, has asthma herself. On top of creating impressive amounts of content, she makes and donates inhaler covers, dances, boxes, participates in pageants and much more. Mia inspires us in many ways. We want to reach as many kids in need of care as possible so they are able to do all of things that Mia does, without worrying about their symptoms!!
What inspired you to create content about asthma and lung health? When did you start making this content and why?
I have been volunteering and doing lung advocacy for years but during the pandemic I really considered who I wanted to reach and how could I be most effective. I’m a teen and I know how much we are all on social media, and that was who I really wanted to connect with. So, I started making reels and TikTok’s about asthma. First, I just focused on what it feels like to live with asthma and what people get wrong, but I now also talk about things like using a spacer, how to use an inhaler, and even working with your local pharmacist. I always make sure to cite and use trusted sources as well, and always refer people back to their health care professionals! There is so much false information on social media, some of it well meaning, and some is just flat-out predatory, like selling expensive “cures” that do not work. That is why I back everything up with real educational sources. The response has been more than I ever expected. It’s really gratifying to get messages from kids and teens saying they related to my post or they felt understood.
When did you first find out you had asthma, and how did you feel about your diagnosis?
I was first diagnosed as a toddler, just one year old, so I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it- it’s just something I always had to live with. The first memories I have of asthma are spending time in the hospital and carrying my inhaler in school in a mini backpack so I could have it with me all the time instead of it sitting in the nurse’s office.
What is life like dealing with a chronic illness? What advice would you give to kids dealing with Asthma or similar issues?
I think the biggest thing that bothers me is that there are just so many misconceptions about what asthma is and what people with asthma can and can’t do, and that’s mostly because it isn’t portrayed very accurately on TV and in movies. People think that someone with asthma should be super nerdy and can’t be an athlete. Instead of being embarrassed when I need to use my inhaler in public (and I do, a lot- I dance, weight-lift, run, box- and I use my rescue if I need it!) I think of it as an opportunity to change people’s minds. I’ve learned that as long as I take my daily and rescue inhalers, my asthma is well-controlled and I can do the things I want to do.
The other challenge with living with a chronic illness is just making sure I always have my rescue inhaler with me- everybody forgets stuff! I tell my friends where I keep it just in case I need help- being able to talk about it with friends helps normalize it too!
What do you do in your free time (if you have any free time!!) Favorite shows, activities, etc.!
I am an Irish dancer and practice 4-5 days a week, I love to box and run for endurance, and my friends and I love finding new coffee or boba spots around the city. I am also obsessed with all things MARVEL!
Tell us about the beautiful inhaler covers you make (and donated to Mobile Care- thank you!!)
The inhaler covers were another idea I had to make inhalers more fun and to try and make it feel like less of a device. I make them in bright colors and fun patterns- and a bonus is it also helps me find mine in my bag faster! I make and donate them free of charge all over Chicagoland through local offices, the FAN program with the Respiratory Health Association, and the Asthma Van too!
You are a person of many talents. What do you want to do after high school?
I am going through the college application process right now as a senior in high school! I’m applying to Engineering programs and hope to major in Mechanical Engineering.