My name is Alyssa Jackson, and almost 5 years ago, I lost my mother to PH.
It all started in the Summer of 2003. I was 10 years old and I had returned from church camp ready to pounce into my mother's arms and tell her how much I had missed her, only to find that she was not there to pick me up. I was told that she was in the hospital but they couldn't tell me why. When I was told that she had Pulmonary Hypertension, I didn't really understand. All I knew was that I was now in charge of taking care of my mother and my 7 year old brother. I had to grow up almost overnight. The next 6 years were pretty rocky. My mom was in and out of hospitals about every other month or so. We ended up having to move to St. Louis so that she could be closer to the hospital that she needed to be at. She had been wait-listed for her transplant because she needed to lose a bunch of weight in order for them to do the procedure. By the time the 6 years had passed, a transplant would no longer be effective. She decided to pull the plug herself, with all of her family and friends by her side. I lost my mother on June 8, 2009 to Pulmonary Hypertension.
My mother was probably the greatest person that anyone could ever meet. Despite her illness, she was constantly putting others before herself. She was a big part of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, holding and attending meetings all over the country while she could. I'm taking part in this fundraiser because any little bit that can potentially prevent someone from having to live the life that I had to is totally worth it. I don't believe anyone as young as I was should have to go through any of this stuff. Pulmonary Hypertension is devastating and I can only hope that one day, a cure will be found.
I will be walking in the Phenomenal Mile on April 12th, 2014 to help raise awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension. If you'd like to join me, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have PHenomenal Hope. Do you?
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Many thanks for your support.