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Friday, July 11, 2014

Here Comes the Sun

By Marissa Barnes
As we enter into the warm summer months, I wanted to introduce myself as PHA’s summer intern in the Patient and Caregiver Services branch. The summer time is my first and foremost favorite time of the year, not just because I break from school, but because every day I feel rejuvenated by the warm air and happier with the sun shining.  A few years ago I read this quote and since has been my life motto, to
“Always bring your own sunshine.”
 I know for some, being in the sun can cause irritation and the time spent under the sun’s rays for others their summer might not even be all that sunny, for me, living in D.C. we have thunderstorms lined up every day of the week. Regardless of the weather, I try to find a little bit of sunshine in everything I do. I had made a post on the Facebook group asking what some of your summer plans are to be this summer, whether you are vacationing, spending time with friends, involving yourself in certain camps or groups, etc.

 Kevin Mayhood – Paskawych shares his summer plans saying, “I have a slogan and its ‘if I can do it, you can do it’ and I keep trying to push myself to attempt new things, despite this. I am 32, I was diagnosed in 2012, and I have IPAH currently, although there is a thought that we may have an idea as to a potential associative disease. I am spending my summer in my hometown of Marietta, Ohio, but it doesn't mean I am not excited. When I was going through my diagnostic process, I needed something to keep my mind off of everything, so I jumped into an idea a friend, and fellow theatre professional, had about starting a professional summer theatre company in Marietta. So, we formed a group, and over the last two years built up what we needed to pull it off”. (Mayhood-Paskawych).
Kia Thompson-Allen who is 39 and was diagnosed with PAH in 2007, tells us this summer she will be, “keeping my 8 year old busy, taking him to St. Louis to six flags and the zoo there”. Kia recommends staying in the water parks to stay cool, plus drinking icy beverages and finding shade when you can.  Kia explains, “you know it's hard on us PH'ers in the heat, plus my son being a severe asthmatic heat isn't good, so most activities we plan are indoors: library, Chuck E. Cheese, and an indoor trampoline facility; all those places are air conditioned :) and ways to  have fun and stay cool for us”!
Kristine and family at Detroit Zoo
Kristine Green is 35 and was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension in July 2011.  She says, “This summer, I am ALL about family time! I am blessed to stay home with my four year old son. So far, we have gone to Movies Under the Stars- where you watch a movie outside up on the mountain to support our local firefighters, library reading programs, both of the "splash pads" in our town and played a lot in our yard. I am most excited to go camping on the Umcompagre Platuea and for a rafting trip on the Colorado River. Too cool off, we load up our three pups and head to the river or swimming pool (minus the dogs)! We like to make our own Popsicles or freeze fruit to munch on to stay cool too. My son and I are supposed to visit family/friends in Michigan (where I am from) for 17 days- visiting numerous cities while there. However, I am not sure about going right now since I am experiencing troublesome side effects from meds. If we do go, we'll go to Lake Michigan, the Detroit Zoo, festivals and maybe a Tiger's game! I will need a vacation from vacation after that! I like a lot about summer, but harvesting fresh fruits and veggies from our garden, camping and spending time with friends are probably my favorites”.
We love hearing from all of you and your plans for this season. Sometimes the heat can be intimidating to get outside and have fun, but there are many ways to stay cool and still enjoy yourself. I hope you all can find a little bit of sunshine in each part of your day

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