30 Days of PH: Reflections From a Long-term PH Survivor

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by BioNews Staff |

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A close-up vertical selfie shows a smiling woman with long, blond hair next to a smiling 4-year-old girl wearing a leopard-print shirt or nightgown.

Marcie McGregor and her grandbaby, Kinsley Clark. (Photo courtesy of Marcie McGregor)

Day 6 of 30

This is Marcie McGregor’s story:

Nov. 8 will mark 10 years since I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. I initially thought my life was over and never expected to live long enough to be considered a “long-term survivor.”

I then learned that most people don’t live three years without treatment, and it took exactly three years for me to be diagnosed. That’s when I realized how blessed I am to still be here. I was already beating the odds, and every day that I wake up is a bonus day. It’s an extra day to raise awareness, to stress self-advocacy, to educate and help with research, and to continue my fight, something a very close friend of mine can no longer do.

This disease has changed me in so many positive ways. I’ve grown so much as a person because of it. I’ve learned the importance of living life to the fullest and not taking a single day, person, thing, or event for granted. I’ve had so many opportunities to help people that I wouldn’t have had without pulmonary hypertension (PH). I’ve made some wonderful friends and formed the strongest of bonds with them.

November is special, as it’s PH Awareness Month and the month of my diagnosis. I’ve always tried to spread awareness and celebrate my diagnosis anniversary, but for the past four years I’ve celebrated in a bigger way.

I invite all of my friends and family who have played a part in helping me get through another year to my house for a cookie swap. I invite anyone who has prayed for me, cooked for me, run an errand for me, helped my family in some way, or just sent thoughts and well-wishes.

I decided on a cookie swap because it is so close to the holiday season. That way, people can leave with a heart full of love, a box full of cookies, and a handful of recipes. I love the idea of giving back to them while at the same time raising awareness and giving them an opportunity to ask any questions they might have.

I’d like to clarify the “celebrating of my diagnosis.” I’m not celebrating the fact that I have pulmonary hypertension. I’m celebrating the fact that I’m living with pulmonary hypertension, and that I have a wonderful support system. I’m looking forward to my fourth annual cookie swap and many more to come.

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign will publish one story per day for PH Awareness Month in November. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH, or read the full series.

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