After Maui woman dies from asthma, ‘Lungs for Life’ event aims to boost awareness

Sisters Lalaine Pasion (left) and Carmen Pasion Dagulo. PC: Courtesy
The first Lungs for Life fundraiser will be held at the local Level Up gym in Kahului. PC: Courtesy

When Maui resident Carmen Pasion Dagulo, 56, was buried earlier this year, her grieving family had no idea what caused Dagulo’s unexpected death in the middle of the night.

“After two months, the undertaker told me it was an acute asthma attack,” said Dagulo’s sister, Lalaine Pasion. “Her husband said, ‘I didn’t know you could die from asthma.'”

That’s why Pasion is committed to raising awareness of the often overlooked dangers of adult asthma.

She has launched an asthma awareness campaign that includes the inaugural Lungs for Life event, a fundraiser for the non-profit Allergy & Asthma Network. Lungs for Life will be held on Sunday, September 25 from 7:30 am to 10:30 am at Level Up Maui Fitness Facility, 343 Hanamau St., Kahului.


The event includes fitness classes for all ages, as well as a kickboxing class for children aged 13 and over. A minimum donation of $15 is requested to attend a class, with all proceeds going to the non-profit organization dedicated to education and advocacy on Maui. In addition, local vendors offer produce, arts and crafts.

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The first Lungs for Life is a partnership between the Allergy & Asthma Network Foundation, Level Up Maui and Malama Yo Mama.

To reserve a seat or donate, visit “Lunges for Life”.

Although there are no cures for asthma, exercise can help improve asthma as long as it’s under control, doctors said on the Allergy & Asthma Network website.


Asthma affects approximately 20 million adults in the US, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network, and those with higher rates of asthma include African Americans, Alaskan Natives/Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans.

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Asthma is a chronic condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the lungs. It is accompanied by an overproduction of mucus and spasms of the smooth muscles that control breathing. Adult asthma is usually defined as asthma starting anytime after the age of 20.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a study shows sudden fatal asthma cases could be on the rise.

If sudden fatal asthma is defined as death occurring within one hour of the asthma attack, at least 15% to 26% of asthma deaths can be attributed to this type of asthma.


In contrast, if sudden onset fatal asthma is defined as death within three hours of the onset of the terminal asthma attack, at least 29% (and possibly up to 40%) of all asthma-related deaths can be attributed to it, the Mayo Clinic said.

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In addition to Lungs for Life, Pasion is working on Hawaiian legislation that would provide voluntary asthma education courses for students and would develop and provide asthma education for teachers and other State Department of Education staff who deal with students.

Pasion said Dagulo has touched the hearts and lives of countless people on Maui and that she is missed, especially by her family.

“She has always been so generous, devoted to her family and friends, kind and supportive, and most importantly, self-sacrificing,” Pasion said.

Dagulo is survived by husband Feliben Dagulo, son Jordan, brothers Rowie Pasion and Domingo Pasion, and sisters Armi Madariaga and Lalaine Pasion, and two grandchildren.

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