The sixth annual Steps for Stripes Fun Walk and Paws in the Park for PH will take place in Brookfield, Wis., Saturday, August 25. The walk originated as a result of a life-changing experience that event organizer and local support group leader Kristen Wieneke-Rooney had at the 2012 PHA International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla. That Conference was the first time Kristen met others living with PH who were near to her age and had similar day-to-day lifestyles. Several of the people she met lived near her Milwaukee-area home, but it wasn’t until they were states away from home that they met. Connecting with others who lived near her and understood her experiences made an impact on Kristen; she left Conference inspired to create an opportunity for all PHers in Milwaukee to meet locally.
When Kristen returned from Conference motivated to connect the community, one of her nurses suggested that she organize a walk. “I had never done anything like that before,” Kristen admitted. With her nurse’s encouragement and support, Kristen set a goal of raising $5,000 for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) during the inaugural walk. Since that first walk, Steps for Stripes has raised more than $30,000 for PHA!
Kristen is passionate about the power of connections made in the PH community while raising money for PHA. Her biggest reason for hosting Steps for Stripes Fun Walk and Paws in the Park for PH each year is to bring the PH community in Milwaukee together; Kristen invites all affected with PH to attend. “It’s a nice way to share your story, interact with doctors and nurses in a more casual setting, and connect with people in the PH community while raising funds for PHA,” says Kristen.
This year, Brad A. Wong, PHA president and CEO, and Amy Kimber, RN, APNP, PHA Board of Trustees member, will walk alongside the Milwaukee community. Kristen, Brad and Amy will speak at the event and step along the one-mile fun walk on a scenic, paved path around a lagoon at Fox Brook Park.
After the walk, attendees will be able to participate to win raffle baskets and play with the many four-legged PHriends welcome at this event.
Participants trek along in previous Steps for Stripes Fun Walk and Paws in the Park for PH.