John Raleigh Chowning had a beautiful voice and natural talent for the guitar. He recorded covers of his favorite songs and uploaded them to YouTube. “I wish everyone could hear him sing,” his mother Fe Borg says.
When Fe lost John to pulmonary hypertension (PH) in 2011, she felt like a piece of her was gone. She didn’t want to go anywhere and stayed home most of the time.
She became involved with a support group near her home in Dallas, Texas, and attended Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) events in the area. After a while, seeing thriving PH patients made her sad, so she withdrew.
“My son never had the chance to receive a lung transplant. It was too much to bear seeing people who were successful after having the surgery.”
To keep busy and get out of the house, she joined a running group. She started with a 5K race and eventually ran a full marathon — all in her son’s memory. Fe listens to John’s songs while she’s running, and they inspire her to persevere.
Fe wanted to continue John’s legacy so she began contributing to PHA to honor his fight with PH and give back to others.
Fe discovered that her employer matches employee gifts, so her donation had twice the impact.
To Fe, donating, fundraising and being involved in running events keeps John’s memory alive. And they give her a vital sense of purpose. ”I want the memory of John to go on. Most everything I involve myself in these days is to honor John.”
Fe’s generosity helps fund critical PHA programs and resources like the bereavement resource guide, “In Your Time of Sorrow.”
If you would like to honor a loved one’s memory with a gift of hope, visit the PHA website to donate.