Donor Stories

Christina Buchanan

RileyChristina’s daughter, Riley, age 4

Christina Buchanan donates to PHA’s Sustainers Circle in honor of her daughter Riley. Riley is 4 years old, and when she was born, she was diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.

Riley's nurses say she is “spicy.” She is full of jokes, loves to help cook, go on shopping trips and listen to music. She is on oxygen 24/7 and knows how to untangle the tubing if it gets caught on something.

On Dec. 27, 2011, Riley became actively listed for transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Riley is a “very happy girl. She doesn’t let any of this slow her down,” Christina says. When Riley was 2, she saw the flame on the PHA T-shirt and asked what it was. Her grandmother said it was hope. From that moment on, whenever Riley sees that flame, she points to it and says, “That’s Riley’s hope.”

At night, when Riley says her prayers, she “prays for all her PH friends. She’s very sweet,” Christina says.

When Riley was diagnosed, Christina found PHA’s website and became active in the online PH community. “The other parents have been the biggest help in all of this,” she says. It helps “when you have people who understand.”

In December 2011, in an effort to do more, Christina joined PHA’s Sustainers Circle. As she explains, “Now seems like the perfect time to give because of the advances in pediatric research, including the Robyn Barst Pediatric Research Fund.” Her donations help her know that she's “making a difference in helping even if the cure comes after Riley’s transplant.”

Christina is the second person in her family to donate to the Sustainers Circle in honor of Riley. Christina’s father and Riley's grandfather, Thomas Myers, has been donating since August 2009. Giving is important to Christina and her family because, as she explains, “You don’t know the need until you’ve lived it.”


 

 

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.