30th Anniversary2021-10-28T10:08:26-04:00

30 Years of PHA: Hope, Visions and Stories

From simple beginnings – four women who met around a kitchen table in Florida in 1991 – the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has evolved into an international community of more than 16,000 pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, caregivers, family members and healthcare professionals.

To commemorate our 30th anniversary, PHA shares the PH community’s hopes, dreams and visions for the future, along with the stories of long-term patients. Join us in celebrating 30 years of PHA by contributing a quote here.

Learn more about PHA in 30 Milestones in 30 Years, a celebration of the shared history of PHA and the PH community for our 30th anniversary.

Help 11-Year-Old Baseball Player Strike Out PH

When Tyler Garigen was diagnosed with PH, he was only 4 years old. Thanks to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), he and his family found hope for the future. “I can’t imagine living with PH without all the help from PHA.,” he says. Tyler, the face of PHA’s 30th anniversary fall fundraising campaign, encourages the PH community to help PHA continue providing support, education and research.

Remembering Rino Aldrighetti

With great sadness, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association announces the death of Rino Aldrighetti, who led PHA for nearly two decades. Rino, who died May 30, was the first PHA employee, hired in 1999 as part-time executive director. He soon became full-time and later was promoted to president and CEO. He retired in 2016.

Family Affair: 30 Years of Volunteering

Terry and Tom McGraw are among the families who have lived with pulmonary hypertension (PH) for many years – in their case, decades. In the early 1990s, when Terry was diagnosed, little information was available about PH, and the McGraws didn’t find the fledgling Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) for about five years. Initially, they got involved to find answers and eventually became volunteers and fundraisers. The McGraws initially shared their story with Pathlight, PHA’s member magazine, in connection with PHA’s 30th anniversary.

PH Changed Her Life. It Taught Her to Persevere

Diane Ramirez of Lexington, North Carolina, was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension in 1987. At the time, fewer than 200 cases were known of the disease then known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PH). Diane originally shared her PH journey in the December 2020 Pathlight magazine, which launched the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Reenergized and Holding on to Hope

In 1966, 8-year-old Laura Hooley underwent surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. The surgery allowed her to play volleyball, ski and enjoy relatively good health. But her CHD eventually led to pulmonary hypertension. For American Heart Month, she shares what gave her new hope.

Sydni Burgess (caregiver)

My mother fought PH for six years, and it wasn't until I got older that I realized what PH patients truly go through and how much I admire the strength they show every day. My mom is the strongest woman I know. She didn’t look at PH as a downfall, and she never talked negative about what was happening to her body. She faced it head on with a smile on her face, and she knew that she had a family to fight for.