Our Journeys

PHAmerica Honors Essays

Jeannie Kendrick

PHAmerica Prime Ambassador

Representing those pulmonary hypertension patients who are over 40.

"Someone extended an olive branch to me. It was Kimberlee Ford with her invitation to be a part of the PH Family group. There were only 17 members, but I found that I was no longer alone. There were others out there like me!"

- Jeannie Kendrick

I have always wanted to help people, but I never really knew how or where to begin. I thought I needed some special talent, ability or education. I didn't know I had anything to offer. When I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH), I really thought my life was over. I was online all the time reading, researching and trying to find new information.

Jeannie K with her friend OxygenI found the Pulmonary Hypertension Association's website and then their Facebook page. Then, someone extended an olive branch to me. It was Kimberlee Ford with her invitation to be a part of the PH Family group. There were only 17 members, but I found that I was no longer alone. There were others out there like me! What had happened was that I had extended my hand for help and someone grabbed it. A virtual lifeline! And it became no longer just about me. It became about us. Our Phamily could reach out and support each other. I could share my experience, strength and hope and others did the same.

Now, I try to reach out my hand to others to offer support, encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. I listen and offer friendship to people I've never met--those people are as real to me as the friends I meet for lunch every week. I gain hope from hearing the stories of survival. I stay positive by being grateful every day for every, single, little thing because I believe that what we look for multiplies. By being grateful I have more to be grateful for. That's how I get through every day and despite this illness, I feel totally blessed.

 

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NORD

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.