Our Journeys

PHAmerica Honors Essays

Melanie Kozak

PHAmerica Generation Hope Ambassador

Representing Generation Hope and other young people affected by pulmonary hypertension.

"I also try to help others realize that although we may have some limitations on what we can do, there are many other things that we can start doing….like taking the time out to promote awareness, fundraise or take up a new hobby! I would remind them that PH doesn't have to stop you from having fun."

- Melanie Kozak

I would help keep others with pulmonary hypertension (PH) positive by continuing to offer support and hope through the two support groups I run plus through working on PHA's PH Support Line.

I love to speak to other patients and share my 14 year journey with PH to show them that there is hope and that attitude is everything! I've always told myself PH will never stop me and I will convey that message to everyone. Pulmonary hypertension is a roller coaster with its ups and downs, but I remind people that even if you are in a down spot there is always that up around the corner.

Melanie KozakI also try to help others realize that although we may have some limitations on what we can do, there are many other things that we can start doing....like taking the time out to promote awareness, fundraise or take up a new hobby! I would remind them that pulmonary hypertension doesn't have to stop you from having fun.

I remind people that humor is EVERYTHING! Enjoy life. Have fun. Don't take anything too seriously. I've named my pump and even dressed him for Halloween! I take pictures of him everywhere...on vacation....at home...it doesn't matter! It makes it easier for me to accept having a pump and I love to share them with people to show them that life does go on! We have to take what we are given and make the best of it and I will try to help people see that.

Humor and attitude are everything. Without them we have no hope and we can't give up hope! I refuse to let anyone give up hope. I try my best to help everyone and anyone I meet.

 

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NORD

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.