August 31, 2010 >> back to issue

PHood PHight Against PH

Guests enjoy the PHood PHightGrowing up, your teachers and parents likely forbade you to throw food at others… but who says you can’t have a little PHood PHight to put pulmonary hypertension in its place? PH patient Denise Bradby recently wrapped up a series of House Parties, which raised funds to support PH research and services for the PH community while providing an inviting, laid-back setting for raising PH awareness.

Drawing inspiration from last November’s PH Awareness Month, Denise asked herself, “What can I do to help make an impact?” while being mindful of the time and energy she would need to invest. Denise thought of past foundation dinners she had attended where a small group of guests made a donation in exchange for a home-cooked meal and the opportunity to learn more about a featured foundation’s mission and programs. She decided to apply that concept to raising funds and awareness of PH. Add in a dash of creativity in the form of a unique event name, and voila! – PHood PHight Against PH was made.

Denise brought her love of cooking to make PHood PHight Against PH a gastronomic treat for her guests. She decided to open her house to a maximum of six dinner guests on five different evenings throughout the month of August. Working with a friend with culinary arts training, Denise developed a different multi-course gourmet menu for each evening, ranging from “Downhome Cajun” to “Comfort Food.” She also worked with a colleague on her flier design, which she then emailed out to about 100 friends, family and colleagues in her address book as a way to advertise her event.

At the same time, Denise incorporated opportunities throughout each dinner to help guests understand what PH is and how their support helps the cause. Periwinkle PH awareness wristbands served as napkin rings, and wallet cards with signs and symptoms of PH were incorporated into the centerpiece. As one of her diners commented, “You found the recipe not only for a zippy salad dressing and other delicious eats, but also for combining people in a delightful way.”

Congratulations to Denise on starting a PHood PHight – and raising nearly $2,000 to-date! Read on for Denise’s thoughts and advice on hosting a house party:
  • “Accept offers of help, even if you don't like giving up control. (As a PH patient, this is a lesson I need to re-learn every single day.)
  • If your guest list is anything smaller than a wedding, make sure you spend time with everyone who attends (like a wedding). People who want to support you (and your cause) also want to BE with you.
  • Believe in the generosity of others -- I was frankly overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to give without expecting anything.
  • Plan well, thinking about events you've been to and what you liked and did not like.”

Did you know that…
PHA offers Cookin’ Up a Cure House Parties how-to guides to help you get started on your own party planning for PH? Just follow the step-by-step “recipes for success” and you will make your November event-ful for PH Awareness Month in no time! House parties generally take only 1-2 months of planning time, so order your free copy today!

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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.