Celebrating World PH Day with Team PH around the World
May 5th is a day that the World PH community comes together to let our voices be heard and raise awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension.
This year Team PHenomenal Hope turns the pen over to three of our international teammates in our global PH race, each with very personal connections to pulmonary hypertension.
Meet Tommy, Maricela and Katrin. Tommy Vansteenkiste, is our cyclist teammate in Belgium, who is racing for (and inspired by) his sister who lives with PH. We also introduce Maricela Arévalo Arce, captain of Team PH Mexico, who is training and racing in triathlon in honor of her sister, Sofia. And we welcome back for their second year Katrin Hetebrügge and Axel Schauf, cyclists and organizers of Team PH Germany, who ride for their daughter, and Paula Menezes, captain of Team PH Brasil and head of ABRAF, who rides in memory of her mother and for PH patients in her country.
What does World PH Day mean to you?
World PH Day is about global unity. Tommy explains World PH Day is “a day where people all over the world who are in one way or another confronted with PH connect to support each other.” Maricela agrees, adding, that it is “a special day for all the PH patients and their families, because we can make visible this rare disease, WE CAN BE THE VOICE FOR PULMONARY HYPERTENSION.”
Katrin states that in addition to being a day to focus on raising awareness for PH, “it also has a special personal meaning to us: we are grateful that our daughter enjoys a happy kid’s life though living with PH.”
What does it mean to you to race with Team PH Mexico?
Maricela states that “it’s an honor to represent my country and PH in this incredible cause! Every training, step, kilometer, race is dedicated to all the people that fight everyday for their life!” She lives their team’s slogan, “A TODO PULMÓN Y CON EL CORAZÓN POR PACIENTES CON HIPERTENSIÓN PULMONAR (Giving all my lungs and heart for PH patients).”
What does it mean to race with Team PH Germany?
Katrin and Axel “love doing sports. Training and racing in Team PH colors makes us proud to be part of such a strong and inspiring community.”
What does it mean to race with Team PH in Belgium?
Tommy tells us that “Racing for TeamPH is an opportunity to show my support and compassion for those suffering from PH and to take them along on the journey.”
What does it mean to race with Team PH Brasil?
Paula states it’s about “showing patients we are proud of their journey. It’s sharing the pain, losing our breathe, to bring hope back to them.”
What message do you want to send to people on World PH Day?
We embrace Katrin’s optimistic message to “Think of all the brave PHighters all over the world. One day there will be a cure. We’ll fight for it!” Tommy encourages all of us in the global PH community to “Connect! You’re not alone.” And
As we close this piece, we invite you in the words of Maricela, “No matter in which country you live, join us!”
Over the year we will update you with regular feature stories from our International teams’ efforts, so stay tuned, connect, and let’s join together on World PH Day!