Patient story

Elise Firestone

Elise Firestone

Hi my name is Elise Firestone. I am a vibrant 22 year old girl who is extremely active. I hope to someday complete in a fitness competition or at least try for Miss America! I am a college student still trying to fulfill a degree and I teach dance and aerobic classes at a couple local gyms around the area. Most people don't know that although I seem to look healthy on the outside I'm suffering on the inside from primary pulmonary hypertension.

I was 19 years old when I was first diagnosed. Of course, my parents were upset and very frustrated with how this could happen to their daughter. But my parents and two older brothers have managed to stay strong around me and my mom is very active in the PH community. I am also lucky to have a serious boyfriend who is very supportive of my illness. Despite all, I try to live my life as normal as possible. Besides remembering to take my medicines daily and getting my pro-time levels checked weekly I sometimes seem to forget I am even sick. Each day I take coumidon, procardia XL, and traclear. These medicines help me out tremendously.

This past summer my mom and I set up a booth to raise awareness at a local car show for PH. Someday, I am hoping that they will find a cure but in the meantime I'm still hoping Opera will listen to my story and others and have an entire show on raising awareness of pulmonary hypertension.


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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.