When Melanie Brown faced a pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosis at age 22, she knew her family would be with her every step of the way. But doctors were stumped about why Melanie had a disease the family had never heard of, yet her identical twin Melissa Dale was healthy.

Since then, Melanie, of Gladstone, Oregon, and her immediate family have been involved with PH research studies to determine heritability, as well as advocacy efforts for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).

Melanie and her mother Barbara, of Damascus, Oregon, were inspired to donate to PHA May 5 for Giving Tuesday Now, a day of philanthropy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s a lot of uncertainty now,” Barbara says, especially for PH patients and their families.

“My dream is that we find a cure for all PH patients suffering from this disease,” Melanie says. “Everyone deserves a normal and healthy life.”

When Melanie was diagnosed 17 years ago, doctors initially said she had to two to five years to live. Additional testing showed a longer prognosis.

Since then, Melanie has been on an effective drug regimen and undergoes annual echocardiograms and other PH tests. Her doctors say that in nearly two decades, her disease hasn’t progressed.

“I tire easily, but I have the strength and determination to work full-time and not let PH define my life,” Melanie says.

Join Melanie and Barbara in supporting PHA’s commitment to extend and improve the lives of PH patients. Make a gift today.