Diane Ramirez's Story
I have had pulmonary hypertension for 26 years. Not being able to breathe properly is part of my everyday life. Breathing is something we all have to do to stay alive and a lot of people kind of take for granted. Having PH has taught me to make every breath really count. So I use my breaths to spread awareness and to advocate for myself and others that have this disease.
When I heard about Team PHenomenal Hope, a team of women that are going to ride their bicycles across America to raise awareness for PH, I was moved beyond tears. These women are pushing themselves to race 3000 miles in 9 days to raise awareness for people like me. What an incredible challenge! They have inspired me to do my own challenge. So I am dedicating a month of walking to myself, the entire PH community and to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).
PHA has made a difference in my life that I didn't think was possible. My illness took away my career and what I thought would be my future. For a long time I didn't know what to do and how to be a positive part of society. Then I found PHA. Through this incredible organization I have become an active, positive and responsible member of society. I now have a life and a future and they are both filled with Hope.
My hope is to walk 75 miles in 30 days starting in September in Thomasville, NC and to raise funds to help find a cure for this disease. Please help me to complete this challenge. Thank you!
Janet Mabe's Story
Journey is defined as passage or progress from one stage to another and that exactly what having PH has been for me. I was diagnosed in 2001. Starting out at the cardiologist and finally progressing to a PH specialist. I have passed out (syncope) over 20 times till being placed on the proper medication. Now with IV Remodulin, Tracleer and a laundry list of others to control the side effects that these drugs cause, I am breathing better and no passing out. I have PH ~ PH doesn't have me!!
The walk challenge is not for me; I do it for all the newborns, toddlers, and children who have this disease. Touching another life by educating my community, sharing my story, spreading the word about pulmonary hypertension might just help others achieve earlier diagnosis! Our greatest opportunities are often disguised as our greatest obstacles. As for me, I praise God every day for the breath I take and remember "Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intension of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up totally worn out and loudly shouting Wow! Thank you Lord! What a ride!"
I am not one with PH that sits on the side lines and cheers ~ I want to walk the walk for PH!