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OK, it's a little late, but the PHA conference was great!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I'm really late sharing info about the Pulmonary Hypertension Conference in Houston.

On the first night of the conference the PH Association organized a "meet and greet" so that we could put faces to the phriends we have been "talking" to online. It was the absolute highlight of the conference! Rod turned to me as we walked into the meeting room as said, "Honey, for the first time in four years, I'M going to be the 'different' one in the room!"

These are my phriends Jen (on the left) and Ali (on the right).

It was so much fun seeing all of these people in person! On my left, is my phriend Ellen. Rod and I met she and her husband Hooper for breakfast when we were in DC.

In this picture, you might be able to tell that Ellen and I had just finished the "Inogen Oxygen Dance!"

This is a picture of my phriend, Kristi. Kristi lives in Grand Island, NE and NEEDS TO UPDATE HER BLOG!!

This is my phriend Carol. She is also a "retired" teacher. Carol was the first phriend I met when I was in Minneapolis two years ago. I was so happy to see her again this year!

This is my phriend Shiela. She actually lives in Houston. I honestly don't know how she handles living there with the heat and humidity!

This is a very special picture. Besides my phriend Kristi, you are also seeing my phriend Lyndsi (far right) who has a beautiful little girl named Eliana who is fighting the PH fight. Then, next to Lyndsi is my phriend Judith who came all of the way from Canada to attend the conference!!

This is Carol who actually lives in Omaha. She is our local support group's co-leader.

My phriend Ellen (see above) created these fabulous shirts for all of us to wear. In the "lung world" S.O.B. means "Short Of Breath) compared to the OTHER S.O.B. :)
She had one made for people with PH that reads, "I'm a little SOB" and on the back it says, "Ask Me Why."

For the loved ones of Ph people, "Someone I love is a little SOB" with the same info on the back.

And, for medical professionals who take care of people with PH, "Everyone I know is a little SOB" with the same "Ask me..." on the back.
Look at this gorgeous group!

The man in the middle is my PH doc, Dr. Austin Thompson. I was so proud that my ph doctor made the trip to Houston. Special thanks to his wife who made sure he wore the shirt!

It is amazing to think what can happen when good people come together to do good things. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association began in 1990 with four woman who were diagnosed with PH and were frustrated with the lack of information and available support for others diagnosed with this rare disease. PHA now has over 9,000 patients, family members, and medical professionals as members and an additional 33,000 supporters and friends.

This is a picture of Pat Paton and Dorothy Olson. They are two of our founders.

When I was diagnosed four years ago, I knew nothing about pulmonary hypertension. I was scared, confused and felt very alone, not knowing anyone else with this rare disease. My doctor had me talk to a special person named Cindy, who also had PH. My new phriend Cindy, who also lives in Omaha, told me about the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. I got onto their website and immediately "met" people from all over the world who shared my worries, confusion and questions about my future.

I would like to take credit for the following quote, but I actually read it in the conference program:

"Community is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything."

I now have a community of phriends, I'm constantly gaining new knowledge about this frustrating disease and, I believe, I have a kick-a_ _ attitude!!

Thanks for reading.


p.s. Please check out the PHA website. It's awesome!

6 comments to OK, it's a little late, but the PHA conference was great!:

Di said...

What an inspiration you and your phriends are to all of us! It was wonderful seeing their faces and knowing how much being together meant to you all! I am so glad you were able to attend.
hugs, di

TW(Terry) said...

Looks and sounds like you had a great time at the conference. The pics are great, I love seeing them, makes me feel like i was there with everyone. Oh well maybe next time. Yes our PH family is awesome and I feel fortunate to be a part of it and have PH friends like you.


Merle said...

Annette, what an awesome report of the conference. This is the first PHA Conference I have missed since I "came down" with PH. Because of the humidity I chose not to go.
Thank you for telling those of us who were unable to attend about that phriendship that has become a part of our lives. I wish I had been there to share in person that experience.
As TW said, maybe next time or the one after... The pictures are great -- it is nice to put a face to those chatters.

paula54 said...

What great pictures! thanks for sharing them with us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cutie:))
Great pics, except for "Jen" in the first one.LOL..It was a great time meeting you..
I agree..KristiV needs to update a whole lot on her blog...OK Kristi..I know she has lots of pics as well...
Take care and yes we have such a wonderful caring Phamily on here...

Hugs and love,

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing the photos...it is so good to see everyone. I really wish I could have been there to meet all of you.