By Kaitlin Ahern

Long Island Mom Inspired by Son to Compete in National EIB All Stars

May 1, 2013   |  Local News - Nassau County, Long Island  

Long Island mom Heidi Heckers, who entered the National EIB All Stars contest, drew inspiration from her son and is now a finalist in the competition.

Heidi Hecker of Merrick has been named one of 10 finalists in the National EIB All Stars contest, part of a national awareness campaign that highlights the accomplishments of those living with exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), a condition that affects an estimated 30 million people in the U.S.

Heidi Hecker and son Austin, whom she nominated for the EIB All Stars contest;
“I am humbled by him,” Hecker says. Courtesy EIB All Stars

The winner of the contest will be chosen through voting at through May 10. The finalist’s story that receives the most votes will win a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet with Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno. The famous speed skater also suffers from EIB, which causes the airways in the lungs to temporarily narrow during or after aerobic exercise, causing difficulty in breathing.

Hecker’s entry nominates her 17-year-old son Austin, who is a high school varsity athlete in three sports, despite his battle with EIB. Born six weeks early, Austin was diagnosed with EIB his sophomore year of high school.

“My son has never given up or even complained. He puts on his game face and just works harder,” Hecker’s entry says.

“If you asked him, he would say that breaking the 5-minute mile or winning a very competitive wrestling tournament while battling his EIB is his proudest accomplishment. If you asked me, I would say my proudest moment was the day he told me that he wanted to choose pre-med as his major in college so that he could work with kids who have respiratory problems and show them that it is possible to still excel in sports, regardless of the obstacles.”

To vote for Austin and Heidi, and to see the full list of finalists, go to

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