Sarah Agrapides

Don’t mind me. I’m just making sure I can breathe.

“One day at work, while sitting at my desk with a vacant look on my face, a co-worker asked in passing if I was ok. I turned to her and replied absently, ‘Yes, just making sure I can breathe,’” said Sarah Agrapides, Senior Scientist at GSK, recalling a moment in a lifelong struggle to control her asthma.

For some, breathing easy sounds simple – it just happens.  But for Sarah and for millions of others like her, breathing can be a daily struggle. 

Being unable to breathe easy is a barrier to enjoying many of life’s most peaceful moments, such as walking in the neighborhood on a beautiful spring day, picnicking in the park, or gardening in the yard. At GSK, we want to find a way to change this, and that’s why we’ve spent the past four decades in a relentless pursuit to help people breathe better.

Sarah Agrapides collage

Helping patients regain their ‘normal’

As part of our dedication to this effort, we have launched Asthma in Real Life, a multi-faceted educational initiative designed to elevate the conversation around asthma. By highlighting personal stories and tactics used to manage and control asthma symptoms, we are celebrating patients who find ways to enjoy more of the real-life things they love to do – in essence sharing how they live every breath.

Searching for a solution – Sarah’s perspective

“Throughout my life, I have struggled with managing my asthma. In elementary school, it was gym class that created tightness in my chest; by junior high tightness turned into having periodic fits of uncontrollable coughing. It was not until high school, during a routine checkup that my doctor heard a cough and asked how long I’d had been doing that. ‘Years, I think,’ I replied.

Today, memories of elementary, high school and college feel distant and I’m thankful that I’ve found a solution that keeps my symptoms under control.

As a scientist at GSK, I focus on searching for the solutions for others -- nameless others who yearn for the same piece of mind that I longed for as a young adult. This is how I live every breath.

Sarah Agrapides

I wouldn’t say I’m cured, by any means, but remembering what it was like growing up and what a difference the right medication has made, I’m able to appreciate all the little ‘in-between’ phases and adjust to keep myself feeling and breathing as well as possible. As a scientist at GSK, I focus on searching for the solutions for others -- nameless others who yearn for the same piece of mind that I longed for as a young adult. This is how I live every breath.” -Sarah Agrapides, Senior Scientist at GSK

Our commitment to better breathing

At GSK, we believe it is our job to help people navigate the real-life challenges of living with asthma by pioneering innovative science, and by providing disease education and resources that can help people manage asthma in real life and Live Every Breath.  And we are thankful for people like Sarah, who help us research the innovative medicines we develop in our mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer. 

Disease management techniques and the use of self-care tools, combined with proper medical care, can help patients keep symptoms under control and enjoy their regular activities. These and other resources are available on GSK’s Asthma.com

Related tags

Steve Yancey

Our people

How curious minds saved a medicine from being left in the lab

Kathryn wide hero image

Our people

Respiratory disease: why we want to make a difference

Today too many people suffer unnecessarily because of the poor management of their asthma and COPD.

Patients & consumers

Every breath you take: Alison’s story

Imagine if every breath you took was a struggle; imagine waking up in the night short of breath and wheezing.

Back to top