When I was first diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension I found it difficult to know how, or where, to start when it came to raising awareness about pulmonary hypertension. How do you raise awareness for a disease that few people know about?
I recently wrote about why Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month is so important to me. As a follow-up, I would like to share several tips about how to raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension.
1. Sharing is Caring
With social media, it can be very easy to share videos that explain the severity of pulmonary hypertension and the impact the disease can make on someone’s life. PH Associations and other organizations often make quick media clips that show the impact of pulmonary hypertension, while also explaining what it is. Sharing these powerful videos is a great way to get other engaged and educations in an easy way.
Here is a video that PHA Canada released for Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. The clip both explains the disease, and shows what living with pulmonary hypertension can look like. In this clip, Natalie discusses how pulmonary hypertension has impacted her life.
2. The More You Know
Education about pulmonary hypertension can be a powerful thing. A better understanding and more knowledge about the disease can help draw people in. The more people who are aware of pulmonary hypertension, the more people there are who understand what you are going through. Once they understand the severity of the disease, people may be more inclined to help, such as aiding in advocacy efforts through awareness or fundraising.
The problem is pulmonary hypertension is a very complex disease.
How can we explain it simply? phaware has made these really great graphics you can share to help educate your friends and family online about the basic facts of pulmonary hypertension.
Why not share a fact a day for Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month in November?
Raising funds for pulmonary hypertension not only helps provide more funding, but it also can help raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension. Sometimes fundraising can sound intimidating, but there are many different approaches and styles to raise money.
A few years ago I contacted a local frozen yogurt shop to see if they were interested in helping me raise awareness and funds for PHA Canada. I researched the business and learned they did a lot of fundraising efforts. They really enjoyed being part of a community and helping. They were happy to help, and had one day when all of their profits were donated to PHA Canada.
I contacted PHA Canada ahead of time, and they mailed educational material and donation sheets to the shop, which helped make my job a little easier. If you are planning to raise funds, contact the closest PH Association to you. Often, they can help provide materials, and sometimes will help you organize an event.
The fund-raising opportunities are endless. You can set up a gala, a golf tournament, a lemonade or apple cider stand, sell T-shirts, jewelry, or just share a link to a PH Association or organization for which you would like to raise funds.
4. Open Up
I have found that by opening up and sharing my experience of being a young adult living with pulmonary hypertension, more people are able to engage and connect to my story. By sharing the difficulties and challenges I face, more people have a general understanding of what it is like to live with pulmonary hypertension. Compassionate understanding for diseases such as this one will encourage others to help as we try to raise awareness, funds and advocacy for this rare disease. If you find it too difficult to share your own story (or if you cherish your privacy), you always can share captivating stories written by other people affected by PH.
5. Challenge Your Friends
A great way to get others to participate in Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month is by challenging your friends and family to get involved. There are several changes people have used in terms of raising awareness for PH, such as The Straw Test, The Blue Lips Challenge, or the #AHeartCures video challenge.
You also can get creative when challenging your friends. I started my own challenge a few years back when I asked three of my friends to take a picture of a sign with the hashtag #PHuckPH. They had a certain amount of time to take the picture, and had to challenge three of their friends to do the same. If they could not take the picture in time, they had to donate money to a pulmonary hypertension charity.
“Global disease. Global awareness. Help make pulmonary hypertension history! It’s a snap with the phaware365™ app.” Raising awareness for pulmonary hypertension has become even easier thanks to this app. Thanks to the phaware365 app you can take a photo at anytime, and decorate it with PH facts. By sharing it all across social media, you can quickly spread awareness and education about pulmonary hypertension. At right is an example of the selfie I decorated with pulmonary hypertension facts using the phaware365 app. (For anyone who was wondering, yes, those stairs kicked my butt!)
What will you do this month to help raise awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension?
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.