Well, WHOO HOO... A member of the Board of Directors for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association came to our Mercer Area PH Support Group and did a formal presentation for the Outstanding PH Citizen Award. I think I mentioned in a few previous posts that I was/am the (basically the national) recipient for this award. Such an honor for me and it still leaves me speechless... but my fingers aren't.. :o)
Roger Towle who is the Treasurer as well as a member of the BoD for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, did the presentation this past Thursday after our local PA Representative Mark Longietti did an excellent presentation on Health and Wellness for Pennsylvanians (that will be posted on the Mercer web site).
I was excited and a tad bit nervous :o) and I'm sure I didn't give Roger a proper introduction but he came forward and did the presentation. This is awarded to a patient with pulmonary hypertension who exemplifies dedication to the PH community through any combination of the following: raising awareness; advocating for PH patients; participating in fundraising efforts; service to PHA; and, helping to provide the public with a voice and face of the PH community.
As a Helpline volunteer, advocate, and leader of three PHA support groups (Mercer, PA; Cleveland, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA) Merle has exhibited unyielding dedication to the PH community. In support of the 2010 Path to a Cure Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, Merle helped organize a Unity Walk with her Pittsburgh, PA Support Group earlier this year. In February 2010, she helped raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension and heart transplantation at and in a ballet at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh. This year the Cleveland Area Group will be having their 4th Annual Walk and Roll in September to raise awareness about PH. Merle is a tireless advocate and lobbyist for the PH community, and has reached out to government leaders from a local to a national level and she doesn’t care which state it involves. If a pher needs help, she is there for them. This past May Merle was asked to speak at a luncheon group the day before the Ohio primary. With that presentation to the UAW, she was able to mail over 200 signatures to each Ohio Senator about S 2803 and also letters to 5 Congresspeople about HR 1030. She is passionate about being a face for the PH community, and has appeared on television and radio in the Pittsburgh and Youngstown-area on many occasions, as well as featured in numerous Pittsburgh and Cleveland-area newspapers. Her boundless energy, enthusiasm and caring spirit make her a true asset to the PH community.
This award was presented at the 9th International Pulmonary Hypertension Conference and Scientific Sessions: “Riding the Wave” this past June 25th – 27th in Garden Grove, CA I was unable to attend the conference and Roger was gracious enough to accept the award on my behalf. The afternoon of the presentation I received a phone call from CA and I was asked if I would like to make a brief statement. "Remember there is always HOPE and to always SMILE, IT'S CONTAGIOUS".
At our local presentation, Roger mentioned that among previous recipients were founders of the PHA, some who had raised over one million dollars for the association; the author of the PH Survival Guide; I am the 9th recipient.
It is a beautiful trophy/award and is also very heavy :o). It will not only hold a special place in my heart but a special place on my mantel.
Don't for to Smile -- it really is contagious.