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Jake Cohn    

Professional Freeskier Living With Severe Asthma

Jake has battled serious asthma from infancy, including lengthy stays in hospitals and frequent emergency room visits. Jake’s condition led doctors to predict that he would never have a “normal” life, and Jake agrees, his life as a professional freeskier is not normal. But, this is probably not what his doctors had in mind.

Getting to this level wasn’t easy. A near death experience at birth and severely impaired lung function resulted in Jake having to be on oxygen for much of his childhood and he spent numerous birthdays in the hospital.

Asthma is on the rise and in cases like Jake’s if not treated correctly can end up in death. With media attention on cancer, you don’t often hear about asthma or the success stories like Jake's. As with any life-threatening disease, it is important to communicate how symptoms can be controlled and how people can still live normal lives.

"Just because you have asthma, doesn’t mean you can’t ski, snowboard, or play sports. Your disease doesn’t need to hold you back from what you love doing" - Jake.

Jake learned to deal with his asthma and has gone on to become a pro skier who now travels the world.

As a skier, you train and perform at high altitudes. As we know the higher you go the thinner the air becomes and the harder it is to breathe. Imagine performing at a professional level at high altitudes and with Asthma (a condition that makes your airways constricted). Now imagine you have only 35% of your total lung function like Jake has today. It's an accomplishment he has found a way to succeed in skiing, something that his doctors said was not possible for someone with his condition.

In addition to fighting the odds to succeed at the highest level in the sport, Jake has also started two businesses: SnowLocals / AdventureLocals -a hybrid travel and advertising agency, and the popular Locals Pro Sale -a North American ski and snowboard sale in 20 locations across two countries.

Jake’s story is compelling and his energy is contagious.


Speech Topics


  • I can influence and excite people because I am living proof that a disease shouldn't hold you back.

  • Being a professional athlete I can serve as a role model for millions of people living with a life-threatening condition. With my action-packed videos and inspiring stories from my time in the mountains, I can bring an exciting speech to functions. I can connect with people and bring out the "he did it, so can I" feeling in everyone.

Travel & Adventure

With my schedule as a professional skier, I am constantly traveling. I am fortunate to have explored many remote mountain ranges and other less known regions on earth. I realized others may want to visit these places so I started a travel agency that sends clients to more off the beaten path destinations. I love the feeling of adventure and can talk passionately about exploring and traveling with a life-threatening illness.

Environment - Air Pollution and Asthma

Real life stories of how air pollution has affected my asthma. I believe air pollution and asthma need to be addressed as one. After visiting cities in Nepal, Argentina, Japan etc... I was shocked (not only because of how bad my lung function was) but because many people were coughing, especially the younger population. I would be excited to talk about clean air practices as well as preventative asthma information.

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