Funding and awards from disease advocacy groups are usually given to scientists or clinicians and earmarked for research on new therapies and treatment options. While the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is certainly well-known for funding research into PH, the organization is also passionate about empowering patients and patient advocates to raise awareness about a rare but deadly disease.
Last month, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association awarded 13 projects for community service targeting the disease. Among those 13 individuals receiving an award from the PHA is an artist in Fresno, California, who will use his art to create a lasting image of the struggle that PH patients face, and the need for better treatments and an eventual cure.
Perry Mamigonian is a mosaic artist from Fresno who has been given a $4,000 grant from the PHA as a part of the Tom Lantos Innovation in Community Service Awards, named after the former Senator who was a leading political activist for fighting the disease. According to an article on TBJNow, Mamigonian will work together with members of the PH Patient Support Group in Fresno to design and complete a sprawling mosaic themed around the issue of PH awareness, which will be permanently displayed in the Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
Mamigonian, himself a PH sufferer since 2009 when he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, told TBJNow that, “Not only will our group create a lasting symbol of PH awareness, the project’s instructor will teach our members to use art as a therapeutic form of creative expression to cope with chronic disease.”