We did it! We came together as a community to continue the PHight against pulmonary hypertension. We can't thank you enough for raising awareness for PH. Finding a cure for PH is our shared goal!
The website will remain open for donations. If you have additional monies to turn in, please send them via mail to PHA (Attn: Mira Kruger): 8401 Colesville Road, Suite 200, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.
Thank you again to our participants and fundraisers!
Did you miss the virtual event? Check out the video here!
In November of 2015, during my niece Haylee's 3 year checkup her doctor noticed a heart murmur for the first time. Haylee was scheduled for an Echocardiogram and life then would change forever. The Echocardiogram showed that Haylee had Complete Atrial Ventricular Septal Defect and pulmonary hypertension.
There is no cure for PH. When Haylee's medical team shared with us that there was not enough research on pulmonary hypertension, our hearts ached. We ached for Hay, that at the age of 3 she would now have to dedicate her life to fighting this invisible disease. While standing in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, I listened closely to the words “there is just not enough research.” I was standing there in disbelief and in heartache. When you are given a life expectancy of ten years at the age of three, it means you will never drive a car, go to prom, graduate, fall in love, or have the many dreams that accompany growing up. I could not help but think, doesn’t everyone deserve the dream of “When I grow up…” Standing there I knew that I would not accept these words, this prognosis, and this life for my niece Haylee.
Immediately I began to research what I could do to help. That is when I found the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. A few months prior I had completed my first marathon just 6 months after Haylee’s diagnosis. I ran for those who can’t, I ran for Hay. I knew that this was how I could make a difference.
As the months went on and I began to connect with more and more inspiring PH patients, caregivers, PH families and friends throughout the world. My heart became full. The miles became easier and my PHight became stronger. On April 9, 2017, I began my 26.2 mile run. My heart was racing just as at rest a PH patient’s heart runs at a marathon pace. As I ran through the marker at mile 26, Chloe Temtchine’s “Breathe” came on and I saw Haylee at the finish line with the most amazing excitement. Her arms were wide open waiting for me. WOW! At this moment I knew my purpose. It was more than the pride that I felt when we hit our goal of $1,000 raised and then went on to end the campaign with $5,148. It was more than the passion of building relationships with the PH community throughout the world. It was my why.
At the conclusion of Run4Hay, I set out to transfer the time that I had spent in a gym training for the marathon to spending that time in the community sharing Haylee’s story with anyone who would listen in hopes to raise awareness of this invisible disease and to inspire others to be a part of our mission too. In 2018 I developed and executed the first annual PHun Walk4Hay with the help of countless others who joined in what was no longer just mine, but now our mission.
On February 11, our beautiful Haylee lost her battle with PH. Although we are absolutely heartbroken, our PHight does not stop now and our mission remains the same. What we once did in honor of Haylee, we now do in Haylee’s memory. Shortly after Haylee’s diagnosis in 2015 at the age of 3 we have dedicated our lives to the mission of spreading awareness and raising money to support pediatric efforts and the overall mission of PHA to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH. From the start of Run4Hay, I have said that PHun Walk4Hay is a lifelong commitment for me and we will never give up the PHight for awareness, research dollars and a CURE. Haylee has left us with a legacy of love and we promise to continue to spread love in all that we do.