Twelve years ago, Marcie McGregor didn’t believe she would live to see her 47th birthday. But she turned 47 this year.
Marcie credits her faith in God, her doctors and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) for getting her where she is today. Marcie shares her story for PHA’s spring fundraising campaign, which begins April 29.
Marcie first noticed pulmonary (PH) symptoms while she was practicing softball with her youngest daughter, something she did frequently. Suddenly, she felt strangely out of breath. Soon after, simple tasks like grocery shopping or taking a shower left her winded.
After she came down with a case of bronchitis she couldn’t shake, she consulted a pulmonologist. Over the next year, doctors ordered several tests and concluded she had PH. They sent her home with an inhaler but didn’t order additional treatment.
Marcie tried to convince herself that she was improving, but her husband could see that her health was deteriorating. In 2012, they decided she should see a pulmonologist who specialized in PH.
In the first appointment, Marcie gave the doctor a rundown of her symptoms from the past three years. Her new pulmonologist spent a lot of time asking questions and talking with her. A right heart catheterization confirmed pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Marcie, her husband and their two teenage daughters worried she wouldn’t live to see graduations, weddings and grandchildren. Fortunately, she has been there for all three.
Marcie’s doctor told her that the PHA website was the only place he wanted her to look for information. She followed his direction and found information about treatment and financial assistance. She says she wouldn’t be able to afford her PH treatments without the information on PHA’s website.
To show her appreciation, Marcie became a PHA volunteer and donor. By being involved, she helps herself and others. In January, she joined PHA’s Support Group Leader Advisory Board. She has been a PHA support group leader since 2015.
Marcie spoke about her PH journey at the PHA 2016 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas. She is heading to Atlanta in June for PHA 2022, where she looks forward to learning new information about PH and finding comradery.
Marcie chooses to look at her PH diagnosis as a blessing. PH has taught her not to take a single day for granted. She is most thankful that PH hasn’t robbed her of seeing her beautiful granddaughters, whom she calls the lights of her life that keep her going.
“If you’re thinking about donating to PHA, know that every penny you give goes toward making the lives of people with PH a little easier, a little better, and hopefully, a lot longer,” says Marcie, who says she donates to make PHA’s work possible. “I’m confident that the cure for this terrible disease is just around the corner.”
Join Marcie and her family in fighting PH with a gift to PHA. Support PHA’s spring fundraiser.
Inspire and give hope to the PH community by sharing your experience with PH. Submit your story here, and read more stories from PHA’s Right Heart Blog.