Members of the PHA community gathered in Ann Arbor for a statewide celebration of the Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month and the strength of the Michigan PH support network this past weekend. Bev Lipmyer, the Ann Arbor support group leader, organized the event with support from her family and fellow area support group leaders including Lynette Gilmore of Detroit and Karen Sawyer of Lansing.

Bev arranges for support group members to sell raffle tickets for $1 which enters them in a drawing for prizes. This adds a lot of fun and friendly competition to the event. She arranges for sponsorship from the PHA Support Group Central Fund for the meal, and some other sponsors help with other costs and bring booths. A panel of medical experts including Drs. Valerie McLaughlin, Rana Awidish and Vivek Nagaraja answered questions from the audience of over 100 patients and caregivers.

Michael Knaapen, PHA Director of Patient and Caregiver Programs, presented a few remarks on behalf of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. He encouraged the attendees to continue the incredible community-building they are already doing through their support groups, and reminded them that PHA’s International PH Conference is less than a year away.

On behalf of all living with PH in the Michigan community, PHA thanks the individuals and sponsors who made this event possible.

Photo credit: Susie McDevitt