“Pulmonary hypertension is my new normal, but I live with the hope that we will have a cure very soon." Regina O'Neal PH Patient
Silver Spring, Md. (PRWEB) October 23, 2014
To help kick off November as Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is teaming with the Maryland Zoo to host the Baltimore Walk for Hope on November 2. The family friendly event will include a 1.1 mile walk around the zoo as well as speeches from medical professionals and PH patients. There will be Jazzercise instructors before and after the walk, music, food, games and awards given to top fundraisers.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to high blood pressure in the lungs making it difficult for a patient to receive oxygen and forces the heart to work harder, often resulting in right hear failure. Without treatment, patients with PH are expected to live only 2-3 years. While there is currently no cure for PH, there are 12 FDA-approved therapies available to help patients live better lives.
The Baltimore Walk for Hope is one of many events taking place in November to help raise awareness and funding for research to fight back against this devastating disease.
Baltimore area PH patient Regina O’Neal, will be at the event to share her story. Diagnosed with PH in 2006, O’Neal said she never heard of the disease and did not know what to expect going forward. “I did some research and I was stunned to learn there is no cure for this disease and many people have died from it,” O’Neal said. “It was even more frightening to know so many people were misdiagnosed and went for years without any treatment.”
O’Neal’s life changed drastically after her diagnosis. She could no longer work full time after a bout of pneumonia in 2011. She had always worked and needed to figure out how to live this new life. “I joined a local support group and it was refreshing to meet others who have this disease and many of the same symptoms, issues and concerns,” she said.
“We all have different experiences battling this incurable disease. One of the biggest misconceptions I hear from people is ‘you don’t look sick.’ Awareness is key and a cure is needed,” she continued. “Pulmonary Hypertension is my new normal, but I live with the hope that we will have a cure very soon. In the meantime, I am committed through my faith to be a source of inspiration to myself and others on this journey.”
PH Awareness Month is filled with activities that help build community and awareness and PH community members are encouraged to get involved in their local communities by sharing their story, holding awareness month events and participating in national awareness month activities.
For more information on PH Awareness Month go to http://www.PHAssociation.org/awarenessmonth.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. Its mission is to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension and provide hope for the community through support, education research and advocacy and awareness. PHA does this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families and medical professionals. PHA facilitates more than 245 support groups around the country and delivers continuing education for medical professionals through the PHA Online University.
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