It was October of 2002, and I had just blacked out two times in less than twenty-four hours. I had spent the night before running to the bathroom because I couldn't keep anything down. It was just my luck, I was getting really sick while I was on vacation. Little did I know these were all signs of heart failure that I was trying to overlook. Fortunately for me, my mom had went and got my sister and brought her back to the hotel to drag me to the hospital. Once I reached the hospital the nurse about had a stroke because my heart was racing over 180 beats per minute, nearly 3 times what it should be!
Here I am, on vacation just about to find the most devestating news. It was October 18th, 2002 when all of the testing was done and the cardiologist came back with the news. I found out that I had a rare and incurable disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. This disease affects approximately 2 out of 500,000 people per year. It causes an enlarged right heart due to high pressures caused by narrowing of the blood vessels in the lungs.
Now... when I was growing up my friends and family would tell me that I was 1 in a million, and had a really big heart, they never knew how right they were until that very day!
It's been nearly 8 years now and here I am still alive and kicking. I am currently attending University of California, Riverside majoring in Psychology as I pursue a medical degree. One day in the semi-near future I will be a pulmonologist treating patients with lung diseases. This wouldn't be possible for me with out the treatments that have been researched and developed over the last two decades. With out the research I would have died about 6 years ago (according to doctors), unfortunately that isn't enough!
Dr. Benza, Dr. Frantz, and their physician assistant Jessica Lazar are headed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension. The money that they raise will be used to research Pulmonary Hypertension, and hopefully find a cure of some sort for the disease.
That said, what I am asking from you is to donate if you can a couple of dollars and pledge to walk some distance no matter how large on February 26th to raise awareness for this disease that nearly took me from this world 8 years ago. You can post the distance that you are willing to walk in the comments so everyone will know that you are taking a step for Pulmonary Hypertension!
Generation Hope Virtual Unity Walk Information:
Thank you for visiting the fundraising page for the Southern California Generation Hope Virtual Unity Walk!
pulmonary hypertension specialists Dr. Ray Benza and Dr. Robert Frantz, along with Jessica Lazar, P.A., will climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, to raise global awareness of PH. You can track there progress at here.
In addition to reaching the mountain's 19,330-ft summit on February 26, 2010, the physicians' fundamental goal is to raise $100,000 to support PH research and programs that serve PH patient and medical communities.
PHA's Generation Hope is a community of young adults living with PH. We have committed to raising funds in support of the Path to a Cure climb. Young patients across the country are hosting virtual walks in the months of January and February to raise funding and awareness for PH. Read on for how you can participate in this virtual Unity Walk!
Walk for those who can't walk far themselves!
Participating in this virtual Unity Walk is simple. Just pledge the distance you'll walk (around your neighborhood, a local park, or even inside your office -- no distance is too small!) on February 26, the same day Drs. Benza and Frantz plan to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Make a donation below, and be sure to include the distance you'll be walking in the comments field.
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!