Traci Braxton, who served as a Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) celebrity champion, died March 12 of esophageal cancer.
Traci learned about PHA during PH Awareness Month 2016 and began serving as a celebrity champion in 2017. At the time, she and her family appeared in the reality TV show Braxton Family Values.
“When I learned about PH and PHA … I began using my social media platform to let others know about the disease and the importance of getting an early and accurate diagnosis,” Traci said in February 2017. “What really struck me was the fact that when it comes to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), the form of the disease for which most targeted treatments exist, African-American women could have some of the highest death rates.”
The cause was important to Traci because three family members have diseases related to PH.
Her sister, Grammy Award-winning artist Toni Braxton, has lupus. Her sister Tamar Braxton-Herbert, also a recording artist, has had blood clots in the lungs. Traci’s son has rheumatoid arthritis.
As a celebrity champion, Traci appeared in advertising campaigns to raise pulmonary hypertension (PH) awareness, shared information about PH on social media and appeared at PHA events.
One way Traci helped champion PHA and PH awareness was the October 2017 Philadelphia O2breathe Walk. More than 750 people participated in the PHA fundraiser at the Philadelphia Zoo, where Traci Braxton spoke about her family’s connection to PH. She also invited PHA speak at For Sisters Only, an event that promotes health awareness to African-American women in the D.C. area.
Traci also appeared in PH awareness advertisements posted in Amtrak trains along the Washington, D.C.-Boston route.