By Sean Wyman
With November here, social networks and support groups are bustling with discussion of what people are doing to raise awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. If you didn’t know already, November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, and is one of the greatest times of the year in my opinion. Though many people raise awareness for PH throughout the year, this is one time that globally the PH community unites and goes forward to teach as many people like politicians, health care providers, and their local communities about our rare lung disease and raise awareness worldwide.
There are many ways that you can get involved with raising awareness for PH this month, and you can see many examples by contributors in Generation Hope already. Colleen Brunetti has coordinated a Zumbathon on November 9th. Also, Alex Flipse (Maryland) and Jen Cueva (Texas), both members of Generation Hope, have already gone forward and received proclamations from their cities and surrounding. If you’re interested in getting a proclamation from your area, you can find the easy steps and templates for the official paperwork on PHA’s website.
Other individuals have used their support groups to put on PH Fun walks and have raised awareness that way. If you are doing a major activity, utilizing the media is a great way to raise additional awareness. A guide regarding how to contact the media about PH and your events is enclosed later in this entry. However, really, ways to raise awareness for PH are only limited by your imagination, so let your imagination go wild! Another example of PH awareness is Alex Flipse’s “PH Warrior” photo’s that she has been making this year. Any inspirational image you can come up with and share on your social media (Such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and so forth) is a fine example of raising PH Awareness!
Other people, like me, are doing even more off the wall things. Last year, at the very end of Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, I created a video giving examples outlining ways to raise awareness for the condition throughout the year. This year, I am taking it a step further, this year I am doing a series of shorts that I am calling The Adventures of PH Man. Stay tuned I promise to make it as enjoyable and relatable as possible. Also, going to school at a health science university, I will be in contact will be in contact with the President of the university and he also will be on board with raising awareness on campus, especially since WesternU has graduated a fellow Generation Hope-r and currently has one enrolled here. The possibilities are limitless!
If you’re interested in raising awareness through the media the PHA has plenty of guides to help you raise awareness. Further, there are plenty of people at the PHA that are willing to help you raise awareness. If you are interested in contacting the media to raise awareness check out the Media Guide which can be found on PHA’s website.Other easy things that YOU can do are post meaningful status updates in your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc.). Tell your friends, family, and followers what it means to have PH. You’d be amazed at how fast things can go viral and be shared through these outlets. Share the “Sometimes It’s PH Campaign” on your social networks or links to something that you find meaningful on PHA’s website. Just about anything is possible! As William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it” and when it comes to raising awareness for PH throughout PH Awareness Month, and after imagine it, dream big, and in the words of Nike “Just Do It!”
If you have questions, comments, or are interested in discussing your ideas, I welcome your emails at Sean@PHAmentors.org.