The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA)’s O2breathe fundraising walks have returned in-person for the first time since 2019. The pulmonary hypertension (PH) community has come together this spring to raise money for PHA programs and services.

Those programs and services include PHA support groups, the PHA Registry, PH research funding and working toward a cure.

Here’s a wrap-up of PHA’s events so far this year:

Held Feb. 19 at Al Lopez Park, more than 100 people Participated in the event, which raised $25,000.

Brian Rizzo, one of the event founders, shared the story of his wife, Missy, who passed away in 2017. Brian and Kathy Grief, Missy’s best friend, started the walk and 5K run in Missy’s memory in 2019.

The Southern California Walk was April 9 at El Dorado East Regional Park in Long Beach, California. PHA support group leader and board member Monica Penaranda emceed the event. Monica asked for a moment of silence in memory of those who died from PH since the Southern California’s last gathering in 2019.

Monica Sanchez shared her 18-year PH journey. Monica credited her family, pump and PH research for keeping her going.

“If I could leave anything with you, don’t give up,” said Monica Sanchez. “Keep living. There’s hope. This is an amazing community, an amazing family. And we’re here for you guys because we know what you’re going through.”

About 100 people attended the event, which has raised more than $9,000 of $15,000 in pledges. Shawn Simpson, who lost his partner to PH in March 2021, received the top fundraiser award. The “For the Love of Gma” team won the top fundraising team award.

The Northern Virginia PH community came together April 23 at Lee District Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Stephen Carter-Hicks emceed the event and shared his journey with PH. Stephen, who was diagnosed with PH in 2010, discussed his introduction to PHA support group leader Betsie Miklos, who organizes the walk with the PHA Northern Virginia Support Group.

The event raised more than $7,000 with 100 participants. The “Inova PHast and PHurious team” won the top fundraising team award. Inova Fairfax Hospital is a PHA-accredited PH Care Center.

You can join the fun by participating in one of these upcoming fundraisers:

Boston O2breathe Walk, Saturday, May 21, North Point Park, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Chicago Stride for a Cure O2breathe Walk, Saturday, June 4, Busse Forest Main Dam, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

Northern California O2breathe Walk, Saturday, Aug. 27, Great Meadow Park, San Francisco.