The Rockies have never been known for an overabundance of oxygen. So how do you juggle life when you or your child have asthma or other critical oxygen needs? We caught up with Michelle Staley, the brainchild behind Denver’s Busy Breathers, to learn about her remarkable oxygen balancing act – and how it’s benefiting others across Colorado.
What inspired you to create Busy Breathers LLC?
My Son. When I was 27 weeks pregnant I developed preeclampsia, and because of this my adorable little red headed son was born three months early. His lungs were not fully developed, and we didn’t know if he was going to survive. [He] was in the NICU for four months and then needed to be on oxygen for almost two years … I started looking online for a bag that would fit all of my needs and couldn’t find anything … That’s when the light bulb went on, and I decided to design my own bag. I knew that there had to be others out there that were having the same frustration.
Describe the Busy Breathers Backpack for us.
Our Busy Breathers Oxygen Backpack is an innovative product that provides patients of all ages with a very useful solution to the struggles of carrying oxygen and all of the necessities of life. [Using it], they will get the mobility they are looking for when paired with their portable oxygen systems.
Is there a certain age group your product is geared toward?
[It] works for all ages: babies, toddlers and kids all the way up to adults. The statistics of the National Lung association put over a million people on oxygen any given day in the United States. That means that, theoretically, my Busy Breather Backpack could be in millions of homes.
What are the benefits?
I decided to design my own oxygen backpack, so I would only have to carry one organized system. I knew that this backpack would help mothers that have children on oxygen -- as well as others that have to be on oxygen -- get back to their busy lifestyle with more ease and efficiency.
[It] gives more mobility [by freeing up your] hands and provides an organized system for people on oxygen to get out of the house -- go to doctor’s appointments, sit at the park, go shopping -- without all of the hassle of carrying several items separately, such as oxygen tank, diaper bag, purse, medical supplies, etc.
What is your goal or mission?
I want to help as many people out there on oxygen as I can -- one oxygen bag at a time!
Anything else you'd like to add?
One of my favorite quotes: “Life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance and luck. But rather an unexplainable, meticulously charted course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in this world.” - Barbara Dillinham
Busy Breathers backpacks are sold online and at select Walgreens throughout the metro area.