Dorothy OlsonPHA Board of Trustees

Dorothy Olson

PHA co-founder (1999)
deceased (2013)
Sebring, Fla.
Board Emeritus

Dorothy Olson - one of the founders of PHA - lived in Sebring, Florida, and served on the Board of Trustees from 1990 until 2003, when she was elected to Board Emeritus. Until her passing in 2013, she remained a familiar figure and voice to many PH patients. Dorothy had a business background, having worked for AGWAY as an office manager with extensive experience in personnel, payroll, cost accounting, mediations, inventory control and procedure consulting. As a patient with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, she underwent PTE surgery in 1995 in San Diego. She answered the 800 Support Line from the beginning and continued to do so until her passing. She was the reference contact for other patients with "clots."

Dorothy chaired and served on various committees including personnel, nominations, by-laws and articles of incorporation and served as Secretary for seven years. Working with Teresa Knazik, also one of our "kitchen table" founders, the first Pathlight was published in 1990. Dorothy, Support Editor, will be remembered for her "Alphabet Soup" columns and tips and advice on coping and living with PAH.  After becoming visually impaired in 1996, Dorothy was instrumental in forming a support group of others in her community who were legally blind. As her vision faded, Dorothy said, "I may not be able to see anymore, but I can still think and dial a phone. Use me." For many years, Dorothy made personal thank you calls to PHA donors and contributed her time and talents in many other ways until her passing.

Read the story of Dorothy's diagnosis (PDF)
Excerpt from the detailed history of PHA

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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.