eBay Foundation Supports PHA Conference Scholarship Fund for 2016

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Popular online shopping destination eBay, through its subsidiary, eBay, Inc. Foundation, recently awarded the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) a grant worth $3,000 to help bring patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) to the association’s next Biennial International Conference and Scientific Sessions. The 2014 sessions took place from June 20-22 in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the next conference set to take place June 17-19, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare cardiopulmonary condition that can greatly reduce quality of life, as it results in inadequate oxygenation and can lead to right-side heart congestion. PH is commonly misdiagnosed, as its early symptoms tend to resemble COPD, and is sometimes only properly diagnosed after a visit to the emergency room due to symptoms of heart failure. The average survival for PH patients is 2.8 years after diagnosis, and without proper treatment and management.

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Leslie Polss, an employee of eBay Enterprise and active member of the PHA as a support group leader, was the woman behind the association’s nomination for the award. The funds will partially support the PHA’s Conference Scholarship Fund, dedicated to subsidizing select PH patients’ travel and board expenses to hosted conferences. The Biennial International Conference and Scientific Sessions is the largest international assembly of PH experts, medical professionals, caregivers, and patients, and is a distinguished event for networking, education and support opportunities in the field of PH.

“This gift from eBay, Inc. to PHA’s Conference Scholarship Fund will help make the conference experience available to even more patients. I’m very grateful that my employer is making this possible,” said Polss.

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Polss is a PH patient herself. She was diagnosed with the disease about a decade ago, and since then has been able to attended 5 PHA conferences. “I’ll never forget the emotional impact of entering the conference site [for the first time] and seeing hundreds of other people with the same diagnosis as me,” shares Polss. “Whatever their reason for attending, I think patients get a real boost from a PHA Conference, both in spirit and mindset.”

eBay, Inc. Foundation’s GIVE Team awarded the funds from the company’s King of Prussia, PA location as part of its commitment to providing support to not-for-profit organizations in locales of eBay employees, who are all encouraged to nominate an organization they care about.