Actor and TV show host Terrence J. has been named celebrity ambassador for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA)’s 25th anniversary celebrations this year. Terrence J. has a fan base of nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, and by using social media to raise awareness and educate his fans about pulmonary hypertension (PH), he expects to help the PHA save lives.
“I am honored to be in a position to support such an important charity, particularly during its 25th anniversary, to help bring attention to a disease for which awareness is a life or death matter,” Terrence J. said in a press release. “I was saddened to learn of Natalie Cole’s death due to a type of PH [pulmonary arterial hypertension, PAH]. I’ve also met with and heard heart-wrenching stories from people fighting the PH fight, including the PHA Board President, who lost his daughter to the disease, and a long-time PH survivor. I am humbled to use my platform to give back in such a meaningful way.”
Terrence J. recently left “E! News” to concentrate on his acting career, and is now starring in “The Perfect Match,” a romantic comedy under the production of Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit that will open in U.S. theaters starting on March 11. He has also written an autobiography, The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom: The Lessons That Made My Life Rich, detailing lessons given him since childhood on the importance of perseverance and positivity to a happy and fulfilling life, and of being a leader by example.
His participation in PHA’s celebrations as a celebrity ambassador will include:
- An appearance at PHA’s International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, set for June 18, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, and to be attended by an estimated 2,000 medical professionals, researchers, industry experts, and PH patients and their families;
- A starring role in a multimedia public service ad campaign to debut later in 2016;
- Supporting work for the PHA in various 25th anniversary awareness efforts.
PH is characterized by increased blood pressure in the lungs due to the narrowing of the pulmonary arteries. Affecting children and adults, symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. PH is often mistaken for asthma or other less severe diseases, resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment. The condition is also associated with a series of other illnesses, such as scleroderma, lupus, sickle cell anemia, and HIV.
Over the past 25 years, the PHA said in its release, notable progress has been made in patient care, including 14 treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (from zero in 1991), PH research commitments totaling $17 million, PHA accreditation of more than 24 PH care centers throughout the country, and the establishment of a patient registry that is set to play a pivotal role in future patient care and research.
“Like PHA, Terrence J has an amazing heart and a commitment to community. An influencer among influencers, this young actor/producer’s generous support of PHA will make the public, including more primary care doctors, aware of PH so that more people are diagnosed before it’s too late,” said Rino Aldrighetti, the PHA’s president and CEO. “With early and accurate diagnosis, PH treatments extend and improve the quality of life for many patients. We are grateful that at such an exciting time in his career and our history, Terrence J is taking time to bring our cause to light as we put our heart into finding a cure.”