Friday, April 16, 2010
Beyond expectations...and yet
On October 9, I posted a blog titled, Keeping our values straight. It was about the launch of our scholarship efforts for PHA's 2010 International PH Conference and why this event is so important for patients and their families..
Yesterday, we had our monthly Executive Committee call with leaders of the PHA Board.
Patty, our Finance Director reported that our Scholarship Fund has grown to $219,305. To understand what this means, you have to think about the number of PH patients in the U.S. in proportion to diabetes (23.6 million), asthma (16.4 million), Bi-polar disorder (5.7 million), Alzheimers (5.3 million) or many others. Campare these numbers to the 20,000 to 30,000 diagnosed PH patients in the U.S. Our numbers are small and so our climb to make the changes we need and want on any issue is steep. It is a climb that involves everyone's best efforts...and, in that, this community has never disappointed.
That our community is able to provide this kind of support for patient scholarships - to what has been described by many who attend as a life-changing event - says a lot about the PH community's values.
We're proud of the scholarship program. There's no question it's hard work to raise these funds but it's so worthwhile. My only regret is that, even at this extraordinary level of support, there are still many patients who have to be declined for scholarships. My dream is that, someday, we will be able to endow this program at a level high enough to guarantee that we can fully meet the need and turn away no patient who wants to come..