The Georgia Fun Walk, launched by Sally Maddox, Ed.D., Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) Board of Trustees secretary, celebrates its 15th walk October 13. This year’s milestone walk promises to be a special day for people living with pulmonary hypertension (PH), their families, caregivers, sponsors and health care providers in the greater Atlanta area. The Georgia Fun Walk takes place Saturday, October 13, at East Cobb Park in Marietta, Ga.
Sally recalls starting the walk in 2004, after returning from PHA’s 2004 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions and experiencing the loss of her good PHriend two weeks later. With the Greater Atlanta Georgia support group that Sally has lead since 1997 on board, they banded together to host the walk in memory of their fellow support group member.
“We just did it,” Sally said. “We had never done anything like this before and now continue each year because it is an opportunity to raise awareness and money for a cure. Don’t be afraid that you’ll fail.” Since 2004, Sally’s fun walk has raised more than $214,000!
Local hospitals in the area get involved and many community members return year after year. One motivator for Sally is that the event creates an opportunity for the PH community to gather and remember loved ones they have lost. One family who has been involved with the event hosts the kids table each year in memory of their daughter. Though many have attended this event for years, first-time attendees are always welcome!
The event is more about awareness and fundraising for PHA than the actual walk, according to Sally. “To see the walk come together is a gift, but all attendees do not have to walk,” she said. “We have plenty of activities throughout the day for everyone.”
You can make a donation or register to join Sally October 13 as a team or individual participant on the PHA website.