The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) recently announced in a press release that it will take the lead in a global effort to educate the general public about pulmonary hypertension on May 5, marked as World Pulmonary Hypertension Day.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare, debilitating, life-threatening condition characterized by an increase of blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that supply blood to the lungs, leading to vascular remodeling, difficulties in breathing, chest pain, right-sided heart failure and eventually death. At first glance, this disorder is often misdiagnosed as asthma. Patients with PH have a poor prognosis and the average survival rate for individuals untreated is of 2.8 years.
This year, the PHA has launched a campaign for May 5 that features a social media pin entitled “PH: A disease of many stripes” with the underlying message that PH can manifest itself in different forms, posing a challenge for making an accurate diagnosis of the disease. The idea is that PHA members, PH patients and their loved ones will share the pin with friends on social media, leading them to a page on the PHA’s website that includes information regarding the disease, healthcare resources, and information on how to make online donations (click here to access the webpage).
May 5 will also mark the beginning of PHA’s Days of Unity, which includes events and fundraisers aimed at raising money for the fight against PH. The events feature activities that range from small walks with PH patients to endurance bike race fundraising efforts led by Team Phenomenal Hope. In 2014, the Team participated in the endurance bike event Race Across America and raised nearly $117,000 for PH. This year, the Team will participate in the 860-mile Race Across the West from Oceanside, California, to Durango, Colorado that will end on June 20, concluding the PHA’s 2015 Days of Unity events.
“We rely on donor support to fund programs that make a significant impact on the course of this disease,” noted the PHA President and CEO Rino Aldrighetti. “World PH Day is an opportunity for us to engage our community of patients, caregivers, medical professionals and donors to help save lives as we race towards a cure for pulmonary hypertension.”
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