Caregiver Shout-Out!Debbie and Alex

This Shout-Out goes from pulmonary hypertension patient Alex Flipse to her sister and caregiver Debbie.

Debbie Drell is a pretty big figure in the PH community. Almost every support group leader knows her; she advocates for every one of them and is loved by many in the PH community.

Debbie is my younger sister, by seven years, and has always been the baby of the family. Every sister, brother, niece, nephew and cousin loves her dearly, as well as anyone whose life she touches.

Debbie has helped me through the worst times of my life: right before diagnosis when I was passing out, the period of time when I was starting Flolan, and during and after my divorce. For two years, Debbie opened up her heart, her home and her life to my two daughters and me.

She has helped me see myself in a different light — a survivor instead of a victim. Debbie has taught me to stand up for my rights, as she stands up for the rights of so many others, including her family, friends and the PH community. I love my sister. She means the world to me!

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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.