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On September 21, 2013, Colleen Brunetti and Heather Tomala will participate in the Warrior Dash as a way to raise money along side Team Phenomonal Hope's Race Across America. All proceeds go to The Puilmonary Hypertension Association for research and paitent education and supprt.
This is why we do this...
On January 2, 2008, I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. I was the mom of an infant boy, quickly climbing the ladder in a successful career. And then everything seemed to come crashing down. I could no longer climb a flight of stairs without becoming breathless. Walking uphill left me kneeling on the pavement, turning grey and gasping for air. I was made no promises about the outcome, and the medical books said I had a few years to live, at best.
At first this threw me into a tailspin and there were some very dark days. But over time I came to realize that I have PH, it doesn't have me. And I started to slowly work my way back. Thanks to incredible doctors and medical advances, and a whole lot of grit, determination, and prayer, I feel like I am back!
But my community is not always so lucky. PH remains serious and very deadly. Most people end up severely disabled. While I am doing well now, I am not promised tomorrow in this progressive and incurable disease. So, the fight goes on.
I don’t really have a story. However, I do have this amazing friend with such admirable tenacity. She is the first person at your door with a glass of wine, pint of ice cream, and box of tissues to help you through your struggles. Don’t feel well, she is there with a meal for you. Up at all hours of the night with a new baby, or two? You will find her at your sink washing bottles. She is the first person to drive hours to be by your side on your wedding day. The first person to stay up all hours of the night to help you make your twins first birthday cake. She is a spectacular shopping ninja to say the least….AND above all, a loving and supportive wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie & friend. Nothing holds this girl down, not even PH. While she can, she will! With a friend like this, how could I not do anything I can to help her stay around longer. Selfish you call me??? Maybe, but honestly, when you meet her you will be glad we fought for this cause. You wouldn’t want to let her go either!!!!!
Yes, my friend has PH! She is more than PH, she is… PHenomial, PHierce, PHabulous, PHun, & a PHighter!
Colleen,you have PH and you're doing the Warrior Dash? Are you CRAZY? In a word... probably. But I worked really really hard to regain my stamina, and I love to celebrate that. I also rather enjoy the rush of defying the odds, and so I'll keep doing "crazy" as long as I'm able.
If you can do the Warrior Dash, is PH REALLY that serious? Yup. Deadly serious. I am not your typical patient, at least not for now. What you have to understand is that too many patients are on oxygen all the time, or have a permanant IV in their chest. They struggle with daily tasks. This has to change if we have any hope for quality of life in the long-term
Heather, why raise funds for PHA? To put it bluntly…because, no child should grow up without a parent. No spouse should lose the love of their life to this wretched disease. No parent should have to see their child suffer through these struggles. AND…because if Colleen can keep fighting like hell in her condition, then I have no excuse to not help her achieve her goals! I want to look her family in the face and say that I did my best!
Ladies, why the Warrior Dash?: Because people would say it is impossible. And because jumping over fire gives us major street cred with our boys.
Finding a cure...If not you, then who? Come join us!!!