Nick Simons was an avid runner until 2008. While on vacation in Oregon, he noticed something was off. Nick, who typically ran 25 to 30 miles a week, was bemoaning his loss of fitness after a particularly disappointing run. His mother-in-law, a nurse, encouraged him to see a doctor.
Though his doctor saw nothing wrong with him, she referred Nick to a pulmonologist and a cardiologist. The cardiologist found nothing but decided to offer Nick the option of a stress echocardiogram. The echo showed his heart was healthy, but he had pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Nick, then 38, saw a pulmonologist to identify the cause of his PH. After sleep studies, CAT scans, and a test for asthma, his doctors couldn’t find a cause.
“I still didn’t understand how serious PH was,” says Nick, of Redmond, Washington. “At that point, my doctor had a serious talk with me about my prognosis and treatment options. It was the most alarming talk of my entire life.”
Nick struggled to explain to friends and family what was going on. Like him, most hadn’t heard of PH because it’s so rare. He was inspired to donate to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) because he knew it was critical to advance research and spread awareness.
His employer makes it easy for him to donate monthly through payroll deductions. It also matches his contributions, which doubles the amount of money donated to PHA.
“PH can be a very quiet condition,” Nick says. “Few people know I have a problem. But over time, things get harder. If you know someone who is managing PH, please consider donating. We all dream of a cure.”
To join Nick in contributing to PHA, donate today. Use the matching gift tool on the PHA donation page to check whether your employer has a matching gift program. For more information, email us.