Our Journeys

PHAmerica Honors Essays

Joshua Mycal Griffis

PHAmerica Rookies Ambassador Runner-Up AND PHAmerica Co-PHellows Ambassador

Representing newly diagnosed patients (Rookies) and men (PHellows) diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.

Joshua GriffisThe French philosopher, Voltaire, once said, "Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." When facing a disease like pulmonary hypertension, the understanding and implementation of this paradigm is, at times, the very thing that separates the "victims" from the "victorious." The all too common idioms are abundant: Every cloud has a silver lining – There's a light at the end of the tunnel – It's always darkest before the dawn – Every rose has its thorn. However, the difficulty lies not in our understanding of these concepts but, rather, in our conviction of them.

It is my intention to identify, through example, education and encouragement, what it means to be rooted and grounded in these principles – to offer, through a developed sense of empathy, a helping hand, a word of encouragement, and an understanding smile – to rise above this darkness with an unmatched intentionality while boldly proclaiming, with a feverish ardency, that we will not go gently into the night.



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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.