The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) will host the inaugural Northern Virginia Walk on Saturday, May 4, in Alexandria, Va. The walk offers an opportunity for patients, caregivers, friends, family and medical professionals to gather for a common goal: raising funds to help support those affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH) and ultimately find a cure. The goal of the walk is to raise $20,000 for the PH community.

Joe Kruger, team captain of “Dottie’s Phans,” the current top fundraising team for the Northern Virginia Walk, chose to create a team in honor of his mother-in-law, Dottie Washburn, who was diagnosed with PH in 2004. “PHA has played a vital role in raising funds for research and increasing the visibility of PH in the community. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to give back and raise awareness for an organization that’s done so much for my family.”

After announcing the launch of this event, the PH community responded by committing to sponsorships and forming walk teams. Betsie Miklos, co-leader of the Northern Virginia Adult Support Group, shares, “The support group is really excited that PHA chose our area for one of their events. We are looking forward to greeting old friends, making new friends, increasing awareness of PH and raising money to provide resources to help those impacted by the disease. PH can be a very isolating disease. I think most of us vividly recall the first time we met another person who had PH. This event will help bridge that gap for patients, caregivers, family and friends. I am also happy that so many medical professionals will be part of the day. It is a chance to interact with each other in an informal setting which will strengthen the long-term relationships we have.”

The walk will feature music, a PHA tent with information about the organization and how to get more involved, sponsor booths and more! Go online to register and find more details about the walk.

PHA gives special thanks to walk sponsors: Inova Fairfax Hospital, Accredo Health Group, Actelion Pharmaceuticals and United Therapeutics.

Joe Kruger (left), team captain of Dottie’s Phans poses with his family including mother-in-law Dottie for whom the team is named (lower right).