PHAmerica Honors Essays
PHAmerica Plus Ambassador Runner-Up
"Now I am a support group leader, only I don't like to say support group leader because we are all a team. We stick by each other when the times are hard--that is a true TEAM."
- Jaclyn Burdick
My name is Jaclyn Burdick. I am 45 years young I've had pulmonary hypertension (PH) since about 2008. I had a blood clot in my right lung. After that, I had a lot of tests. They then told me that I had PH. Not knowing what the PH was, I did my research and came across Generation Hope. It is what it says. This was a friendly group and they answered anything you needed to know. I liked this friendship -- so it was over the computer. So what? I needed to know what this whole thing was. I needed more information.
I entered into a new part of my life. First, I had to quit my job. I was a hair dresser for 27 years and I worked in a nursing home. I loved that but, I was going to beat this or try. One of my friends with PH said that they had a conference coming up in California. My husband and life love supporter, drove me from New York to California. That ride was an eye opener. When we arrived to California, it just took my breath away. There were people there just like me and like my husband. There were little kids too. Just amazing. I was not alone.
When we came back to New York I told my husband that I would do something. I will pass the word on. No one should not know about this disease. I came home and I went to every doctor's office and hospital and handed out fliers. I did a bake sale, handed out fliers and helped raise awareness for a cure. I sold candles for hope, I sold flowers and I did a basket raffle. I sent out 200 letters to stores with a flier inside to tell the person what PH is. I am raising the money and getting out awareness at the same time.
I will not give up for you and for me. There not time for tears. My laughter is my tears. If I can help, this is one way. PH is my friend. Now I am a support group leader, only I don't like to say support group leader because we are all a team. We stick by each other when the times are hard--that is a true TEAM.
My eyes are open. I have not cried about my pulmonary hypertension. I just laugh at it. I know helping others is my cure for me. Live one day as it comes.