John Sandy Awood

John and Sandy Awood with daughter Katie

John and Sandy Awood were planning a big bucket list trip in 2007: A trip to Egypt with a cruise up the Nile to see historic sites along the way.

“We were excited and all set to pay for the travel when Sandy called me at work to say she couldn’t get up the stairs and was totally out of breath,” says John, of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Later that year, Sandy was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). They cancelled the Egypt trip and went to Hawaii instead. A 2008 trip to the Florida Keys was their last trip before Sandy became home-bound.

Sandy was a fighter, although doctors at the University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic said she probably would survive only a couple of years. Mayo Clinic is a Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA)-accredited PH Care Center.

The Awoods found the PHA support group in Ann Arbor, where Sandy enjoyed connecting with others affected by PH.

Sandy lived with PAH for seven years before passing in 2015. She remained optimistic and engaged and never stopped learning. “Her spirit never gave up; it was her body that did,” John says.

Today, John makes monthly gifts to PHA as part of his commitment to help put an end to PH. He’s been a Sustainer Circle monthly donor member for nearly a decade.

“It’s a way for me to honor Sandy,” he says. “I want to spread the word and to pay it forward with the hope that more and better medications will become available.”

John enjoys receiving PHA’s quarterly magazine, Pathlight, an exclusive membership benefit, “I enjoy reading about other people’s experiences and how they deal with their obstacles. I can relate firsthand to so much of what they are dealing with and what they are feeling.”

Join John in fighting PH and giving hope to the PH community for the next 30 years. Support PHA’s mission to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH. When you donate, choose the option to make monthly gifts as a member of our Sustainer Circle.

“We can all make a difference,” John says.