Summit Set: Team Phenomenal Hope Embraces Seven-Day Trek in The Pioneer

Share Article

Mountain Bike Race Paints Scene For Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness

News Image

Team Phenomenal Hope – presented by UPMC, Bayer Healthcare and Actelion – looks to shout its pulmonary hypertension message from the mountaintops, both literally and figuratively. The nonprofit is sending several bicyclists to compete in The Pioneer – a seven-day race that veers through New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

“Over the past year, we’ve been pushing for new horizons and broadening our reach at a global level,” said Dr. Patricia George, Team PH founder and a pulmonary hypertension specialist at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). “This disease affects people around the world. We’re here to help them share their stories and raise support for the larger cause.”

Team PH consists of members from the medical and athletic communities. The group uses endurance and ultra-endurance sporting events as a platform to spread pulmonary hypertension awareness. With cycling, running and triathlon as part of its portfolio, the group sees The Pioneer as a great opportunity to reach new heights.

“This is a wonderful next leg to our journey,” George said. “We’re confident our New Zealand friends share our passion for a cure.”

The competition starts on January 31, 2016. Specifically, Team PH members will pedal across some 546 miles over seven days. During the ride, the racers will climb up to 15,057 meters. They must travel in pairs and remain within two minutes distance of each other.

Representing Team PH with George will be Harrison "Hap" Farber – a pulmonary hypertension specialist from Boston University; Thea Kent – an avid mountain biker from Boston; and Kristen Engle – a general surgeon from Pittsburgh.

“Not only do we intend to crush the Southern Alps, but we want to crush our fundraising goal and raise one dollar for every meter climbed,” George said. “That is over $15,000 that will support pulmonary hypertension research and patient services. That’s what this is all about – the hope that we will rally people to help make a difference in the lives of those living with this disease.”

Team PHenomenal Hope is a nonprofit made up of professionals in the medical and athletic communities. The group uses sporting events as a platform to spread awareness about the disease Pulmonary Hypertension. Specifically, Team PHenomenal Hope members compete in cycling, running and triathlon outings around the world to raise donations for research, while at the same time educating the public on the greater cause. Since its launch some three years ago, the nonprofit has garnered national attention and support from major sponsors and the pulmonary hypertension community. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit

People living with PAH often don't look sick, but become tired and short of breath with exertion. This makes basic activities like climbing stairs or playing with grandchildren a challenge. Fortunately, there are medications that help many patients, but not all patients respond to therapy. When the disease progresses, it leads to heart failure, and some patients require lung transplants to survive. We are racing with the pulmonary hypertension community to make a difference, and we hope you will join us in supporting research for a cure.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sarah Bon
Team PHenomenal Hope
+1 (910) 399-2700 Ext: 2
Email >
since: 04/2012
Follow >
Team PHenomenal Hope
since: 06/2012
Like >