sMiles for Katie’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser Honoring Katie McCarthy is a fundraising event organized to bring awareness to pulmonary hypertension (PH) and raise money to support the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s (PHA’s) mission. The day is filled with live music, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, food and drinks, gift baskets and more. Many Middletown, N.J. residents – the home town of event hosts Debbie and Steve McCarthy and their family – anticipate the event taking place each fall.
Now in its third year, the McCarthy family – mom Debbie, dad Steve and Katie’s three sisters, Sarah, Molly and Emma, organize this annual PHundraiser in memory of Katie, who passed away from PH in April 2013. The couple shared, “Katie, a premature baby, had a special personality. She was always a positive, happy girl who loved life, her family, her church and her many friends.”
Through hosting the event, the McCarthys want to bring attention to the seriousness of PH so that it is more broadly recognized, and patients can receive an earlier diagnosis. When Katie was diagnosed in August 2012, they had no idea of the severity of PH and had never heard of it before.
“Saving a life and bringing awareness to PH is what it’s all about. We want to raise funds and awareness to improve research, so people don’t have to go through what Katie experienced.” The McCarthys are motivated by knowing that their events are helping other people. Recently, they learned that a woman whose friend attended a sMiles for Katie event was later diagnosed with PH. They hope that being connected to the PH community early may help families understand and navigate the disease. Indeed, the McCarthys shared how a community member with PH who saw a poster for their event reached out in gratitude – she appreciated seeing that she was not alone as others were also fighting for a cure.
In addition to this event, the McCarthys have organized various gatherings ranging from a Dine and Donate night at a local restaurant to a Hatchet Throwing PHundraiser at a local Hatchet House to forming a team for PHA’s New York and Philadelphia O2breathe Walks. They are blessed by the generous support of local businesses and community.
Debbie and Steve emphasize, “The money raised is helping to provide better research and technologies to ultimately cure this disease. We hope that by having multiple events, there is increased attention given nationally to PH, and more recognition of the disease. We want to bring awareness that there are people out there suffering from this disease. We want to provide a measure of hope and help. We will continue to be invested in the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and in keeping Katie’s memory alive.”
The McCarthys are hosting sMiles for Katie on Saturday, September 29, 2018. Register to attend at www.PHAevents.org/sMilesforKatie or ten.nozirev@eitakrofselims.