Teens raise awareness

Matt's best friend, Ian, has PH

MattMatt at PHA's 10th International PH Conference

When my best friend Iain was 5, he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Right around that time I was heading up to Nepal for my first mountain climbing experience. I visited a hospital there where they were doing pulmonary testing, and I started to realize what Iain was going through. Climbing helped me experience what Iain has felt through PH – it’s one of the only sports you can do that. I choose to do high altitude mountaineering, and it’s like Iain has to do it 24/7.

When I was 12, I wanted to do a climb more focused toward Iain, so we came up with the idea to do fourteen 14,000-foot peaks in 14 days. Then we decided to amp things up and reach the highest point in each state in under 50 days. We raised over $20,000 for PH through these climbs.

[While planning these climbs] I started realizing that a lot of people were getting interested in my climbing, and that I could direct this attention towards Iain to inspire doctors to research a cure for PH. After I did my first interview, I started getting emails from other people with PH – they said that before this, they had never been able to easily explain PH to their family or friends, and now they could actually explain and pinpoint what they were feeling all the time [because I had compared it to mountain climbing in my interview]. That was one of the most amazing parts.

Watch a documentary about Matt's climbs to raise awareness

Watch Matt talk about climbing and PH at a BIFF/TED Conference

Watch an Outside Television piece on Matt’s climbs to raise awareness


FacebookTwitterInstagram iconLinkedInYouTube

For optimal viewing of, please use a standards-compliant browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.

The information provided on the PHA website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal, medical or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with your individual needs. PHA does not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services.

801 Roeder Road, Ste. 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910   Patient-to-Patient Support Line: 1-800-748-7274
    Privacy Policy    Terms of Use    Provide Feedback & Report Bugs

Designed by Matrix Group International, Inc.® | © 2017 Pulmonary Hypertension Association. All Rights Reserved.

BBB Accredited Charity BEST in AmericaCharity Navigator

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.