New frontiers: Team PH Global

June 19,2017

Team PHenomenal Hope 2017 Cue Sheet – Part 2

Welcome to our second blog post from the Cue Sheet. If you missed the first in our series, check it out here!

Today we introduce our Global Teams Program.

In 2016, we were honored and humbled to work with Paula Menezes, president of ABRAF (Associação Brasileira de Amigos e Familiares de Portadores de Hipertensão Arterial Pulmonar – the Brazilian Pulmonary Hypertension Association), who founded Team PHenomenal Hope Brasil, and in so doing, started an international movement.

Team PH Brasil

Inspired by the idea of using ultra-endurance racing to promote pulmonary hypertension awareness, she founded a 4-person running team and they did amazing work.

Paula identified a major event, the Bertioga Maresias 75-km trail running race in October 2016, invited 3 team members from Team PH USA, and together they ran the most challenging running race of their lives.

But the race itself, while amazing, is only a small part of the story.

Throughout the months leading up to the race, Paula and her team worked hard to build support from people and the government for more medications to be available to PH patients.

In the USA and Europe we have access to 14 FDA-approved life-saving medicines for PH, but in Brazil doctors and patients only have limited access to three medicines.

So Paula and her team are working to change that.

They raised awareness throughout the country at endurance races every month. They brought their story to the news. They rallied the community all across the country. And they inspired many – both near and far – including members and friends of Team PH USA. Paula’s passion and success inspired many in Brazil, and this year they continue their race.

Team PH México

Meanwhile, inspired by Paula, in Mexico, a team has come together to race for their sister/cousin/friend who lives with PH and for PH patients throughout the country. Led by Maricela Arevalo Arce, they have organized Team PH México, and these athletes are training for the Ironman 70.3 Cozumel. They are building throughout the year not only in their physical training, but in raising awareness about pulmonary hypertension to help one day build Mexico’s first dedicated PH rehabilitation care center.

Team PH Germany

And across the Atlantic, two of our teammates from last year, Axel and Katrin, avid cyclists and parents of a child with PH, have formed our third official team, Team PH Germany. They are returning to Rad Am Ring in July as well as organizing a week long bicycle tour to promote PH awareness in Germany. We cannot wait to follow them – and race alongside them – at Rad Am Ring in July.

What is the role of Team PH in these efforts abroad?

We have developed a grassroots international program where we provide seed funding from our sponsors, uniforms, web support, brainstorming, and other support wherever we can to help amplify their message and support their efforts.

However, in all honesty, these passionate team leaders in each country are the true organizers and are using these resources to create work more incredible than we could ever have envisioned.

How can I form a team in my country?

First, visit our website’s Global Programs page to learn more. Then contact us with your interest and ideas.

Team PH has a small pool of funding and resources which we evaluate on an annual basis.

We would love to support everyone we can, but we must grow slowly and steadily to assure success with each team before expanding.

So with that, we invite you to follow along in our Team PH Global posts, “Like” these teams on Facebook and Instagram. And stay tuned, because over the next several weeks, you’ll be hearing more about Team PH México, Team PH Brasil, and Team PH Germany.

Click on the links and like them on Facebook!

  1. Team PH México
  2. Team PH Germany
  3. Team PH Brasil

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact info@teamphenomenalhope.org.

Dr. Patty George

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