- 01 Sep 2016
Exclusive interview with CEO and Founder of ENJO Australia, Barb de Corti, to discuss the impact asthma has had on her life and how it lead to ENJO Australia.
It’s National Asthma Awareness Week, and we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to announce ENJO Australia’s new partnership with the nation’s leading lung charity Asthma Australia!
A chronic respiratory condition, asthma affects the quality of life of 2.3 million Australians1, which means it’s highly likely you yourself suffer from asthma or you know someone who does. Representing a huge health care burden, and without a cure, we think it's vital asthma remains a national health priority and we can't wait to make a difference.
We’re especially pleased to be forming a partnership with Asthma Australia, as for those of you who aren’t in 'the know', asthma is where it all began for ENJO Australia… intrigued? Barb de Corti (BdC), CEO and Founder of ENJO Australia tells all.
LWE: Firstly, tell us, how did asthma first feature in your life, and what did you know about asthma at the time?
BdC: My son Mark was diagnosed with asthma at 3 years of age. I actually knew nothing about asthma, I never would have considered Mark had asthma, which I guess highlights the importance of supporting and promoting awareness weeks such as this one.
Mark had a cough that wasn’t subsiding, we went to the Doctor and that’s when we got the diagnosis and I had so many questions. Most notably what was the cause, and what could I do to ease and prevent the symptoms.
As there is no cure, uncovering what triggered Mark’s asthma was key to controlling his symptoms.
LWE: So how did you go about finding Mark’s triggers and how did it change your lifestyle?
BdC: We undertook a trial and error approach and we did our own research. Funnily enough, I’d read that dust and allergies are big triggers for asthma, so I tried to keep my home absolutely spotless, and I did this by using all the products you commonly find in the cleaning aisle. Unbeknownst to me at the time, chemical fumes and residue in cleaning products and laundry detergents are big triggers for Mark’s asthma. It is one of those situations where once we knew, it was so obvious, but it did actually take a while to identify.
It also turned out Mark had an allergy to milk, which was interesting as he had never really liked it, and that must have been why, but his milk allergy was also a trigger for his asthma so we switched to soy.
LWE: So when did you have that lightbulb moment where you identified chemicals as the trigger and how did this lead to the inception of ENJO Australia?
BdC: It was after a holiday to visit family in Austria, during which I noticed an amazing improvement in Mark’s asthma symptoms. I wasn’t sure if it was just the fresh Austrian air or a different way of living, I couldn’t put my finger on it right away, but I knew something was different.
As I mentioned, I thought I was helping Mark by keeping my home extremely clean, I used a lot of bleach, and I started to notice that on a Saturday, after the big weekly clean, Mark almost always had an asthma attack.
As a family we actually used to joke that it was a good thing it happened on a Saturday when we were home and could take care of him.
We enjoyed three glorious weeks in Austria free from asthma attacks, and it was the weekend after we returned and Mark had an asthma attack that Saturday, right on cue, that I made the link.
I knew family we stayed with in Austria used a fibre and water to clean their home…I was actually quite dubious at first, could this really work? But realising that the products I had been using were causing my son’s asthma symptoms, I had to make the change, and it was really quite simple...and obviously I’ve never looked back.
I educated myself on the products, and upon realising all the other benefits that come with using ENJO, I knew it was something I had to share with Australia. I am proud to say I am as passionate about the health benefits ENJO has to offer 23 years later.
LWE: What advice would you offer parents of a child who is diagnosed with asthma?
BdC: You need to identify their triggers, and if there are things you can remove from their life easily, do it right away. There’s a strong link between asthma and allergies, so removing dust triggers in the home will help. Unfortunately we can’t control everything, but simple changes such as removing cleaning chemicals really makes a difference. And just remember to always be prepared and keep an inhaler with you.
LWE: You must be thrilled about ENJO’s new affiliation with Asthma Australia, what does this partnership mean to you and what will ENJO Australia be doing to show their support?
BdC: I am so happy to be partnering with Asthma Australia and look to assist by maintaining a high level of public awareness, but most notably, we are donating funds to support a PhD research project, to assist scientists in developing their understanding of the disease and hopefully speed up the search for a cure.
Asthma Australia strive to improve the quality of life for people with asthma while conducting research for a cure. In honour of National Asthma Awareness Week they want to encourage everyone with asthma to become better breathers by following the five B’s:
1. Become informed by taking the asthma control test;
2. Blow hay fever away;
3. Brush up on your technique;
4. Befriend your healthcare professional; and
5. Breathe better
Being proud to offer a product that can help reduce asthma symptoms, ENJO are celebrating asthma awareness by offering 40% off their dust-busting Living Bundle until 14 September 2016.
Whether you suffer from asthma or know someone who does, visit www.asthmaaustralia.com.au and www.enjo.com.au to find out more and let’s help Australia breathe better.