Monday, January 23, 2012

Affirming the human spirit...

“Thank you for reminding me why I became a doctor.”
The first time I heard those words were in 2002 at PHA’s Fifth International Conference in Irvine, California. It was a striking statement from a globally recognized PH physician.

I’ve heard similar words since from other medical professionals and I’ve heard so many stirring words from patients and their families about what Conference means to them…

“These past 4 days were honestly life changing. I found hope.”

“I will always remember this conference. Words cannot explain the blessing it was to me. I loved the research room. It gave me a chance to make a difference in maybe a cure for the next generation.”

“Coming to the conference brings out the best in us; it usually gives people a reason to shine.”

“This conference is such an opportunity for me to learn and feel the love and support of my fellow fighters.”

What is it about this event that makes it so special in people’s lives?

I guess every person whose life has been touched by Conference has their own answer. I can only give you mine.

Conference to me is an affirmation of the human spirit.

I have listened to Carl Hicks speak eloquently and movingly about “Why I Fight”.

I have seen the barriers between medical professionals and patients dissolve as physicians and their patients participate in a centerpiece of each Conference, the Journeys discussions…an activity that is so much more about relationships than medicine.

I have seen doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals at the highest levels of expertise in this field give enthusiastically and freely of themselves to offer clear and valuable education and fellowship to patients and families…and to each other.

And, most of all, I have seen people connect in deep and meaningful ways, in ways that make them – and all of us – stronger in the fight against PH.

We are an extraordinary community; there is no doubt about that.  Nowhere is that sense of community more visible than at Conference – the largest PH meeting in the world. This year especially, PHA’s Tenth, I hope you will be able to join us from June 22 to 24 in Orlando, Florida. 


  1. Thanks for good blog. I like me,and in this picture is best.thanks

    1. Yup. This picture is one of my favorites. Thank you.