PHA Canada’s monthly electronic newsletter
Vol 1. No. 5 November 2011

In this issue:

Lend a Hand for PH This Month! 

PHA Canada is thrilled to be launching a new National Awareness Month Campaign that will allow Canadians across the Country to “Lend a Hand” for PH!  The “Lend a Hand for PH” campaign will launch at the beginning of November with kickoff events in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.  The main objective of the “Lend a Hand for PH” campaign is to raise awareness about PH and its symptoms by engaging the PH community, media and the general public. The campaign will be represented by a memorable symbol: a blue handprint where each of the five fingers will represent a symptom of PH and spell out the acronym BLUES:
Bluish hands, lips and feet
Lightheadness (especially when climbing stairs or standing up)
Unable to breathe (shortness of breath/breathlessness, especially with activity)
Edema (swelling of ankles, legs and abdomen)
Syncope (fainting)
Canadians are invited to “lend a hand” to PH by signing a blue handprint and posting a message of hope. Banners where participants will be able to attach their blue hand prints will be available in the four major cities and other events are currently being planned in additional cities and towns across the country.  Anyone interested in participating can request a “Lend a Hand” kit which will contain all the materials needed to run a campaign in their own local areas. 
The campaign will finish at the end of November with an event on Parliament Hill, where the banners as well as handprints from all over the country will come together to form one large mural. Members of Parliament will be invited to add their handprints to the mural and to learn more about PH. An official count of the number of handprints collected will be announced at the event.
Patients, caregivers and family members are all invited to attend the Parliament Hill event and share their personal PH journeys with other attendees. 
To learn more about how you can “Lend a Hand” for PH this November, visit our website at  


One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference

Ruth Dolan’s adventure in to the world of requesting proclamations began as a way to garner some support for PH Awareness on a local level when the thought occurred to her to go to her local Mayor’s office in Bradford a couple of weeks ago.  Ruth, co-leader of the Toronto Chapter of PHA Canada, visited the Mayor’s office to request a proclamation to declare November PH Month with the hopes that she could then take the proclamation to her local paper and encourage them to write an article.  When things went smoothly in her local town, she decided to try other towns and municipalities in her area and the proclamation project was born!  One of the biggest challenges that Ruth has faced in having the proclamations passed is that some areas have requested that a local representative from their town be on hand to accept the proclamation and she has had to do a lot of work to explain what a rare disease this is and in fact there are only two support groups in Ontario at present.  This has not deterred Ruth and she continues to pursue additional areas.  She has been able to enlist the help of her co-leader and PH patient, Loretta Chu to share her personal story with local media in the Toronto area and PH patient, Michelle Andrews will act as the local representative in the Brampton area.
To date, Ruth has contacted 52 towns and cities and has received some very positive responses and has been encouraged to continue on her quest.  She has been successful in many areas and has even been granted a proclamation by the City of Toronto!   Ruth has received many of the proclamations by email but has also had several originals mailed to her.  In Brampton and several other cities and towns, she has received requests for a local representative of the Toronto Chapter to receive the Proclamation in person.
Ruth’s amazing story shows just how much of a difference one individual can make when they have the drive and motivation to make a difference.  Congratulations Ruth on a job well done!  We can’t wait to see where this project takes you next! 

Ruth Dolan pictured with her brother, Paul Adams


This Month's Resource Tip: Lend a Virtual Hand for PH

Unable to attend any of the regional awareness month events? No problem!  You can still get involved right from the comfort of home by taking a moment to lend a “virtual” hand for the campaign!  Simply visit our website at  and complete our online form to have your virtual hand and message of hope posted on our website.  You can also visit our facebook page at and “Like” our page.  You can then share the link with family and friends so they can also “lend a hand” to help us reach our goal of 1,000 handprints by the end of November! 


 Low-sodium Recipe of the Month: Winter Vegetable Soup

As the cooler days are upon us, nothing is more nourishing and comforting than a nice hot bowl of soup.  The tasty recipe from is sure to satisfy your family and warm your home on a cold autumn day.

Winter Vegetable Soup

  • 2 Servings
  • Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender. Add the broth, potato, carrot and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, salt if desired and pepper; simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.Yield: 2 servings.
Nutrition Facts:One 1-1/3-cup serving (prepared with reduced-sodium broth and without salt) equals 168 calories, 8 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

Originally published as Winter Vegetable Soup in Reminisce November/December 1996, p45  

Latest PH news

CHEST: Severe PAH May Be Undertreated
Source: By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage TodayPublished: October 27, 2011Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco andDorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner HONOLULU -- Many of the sickes..... [more]

Event helps people breathe: Bradford West Gwillimbury resident helping organize event
Source: For more information, visit The Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada — Toronto Chapter has announced the date of its third annual fundraising event.This year, the group’s annual gala, Let Me Breathe: A Vegas Fundraiser, will be at Brebeuf College, at 211 Steeles Ave. E, in TorontoLast year’s event netted more than $13,000 for the cause and this year organizers are hoping t..... [more]
source: IMAGE: Dr. Yunchao Su of Georgia's Health Sciences University has found the protein calpain holds promise for treating adult pulmonary hypertension. Click here for more information. AUGUSTA, Ga. – A protein critical to development appears to have a grave impact on lungs exposed to smoking and air pollution, researchers report. Blocking that protein, called calpain, in the lungs may prove an effec..... [more]

Caregivers’ stress leads to unhealthy habits
This news article, although focusing on issues with cut backs to programming in California, speaks to the importance of caregivers remembering to care for themselves. Visit PHA Canada's caregiver resources section for more information on this topic. Source: By Meda Freeman Californians caring for aging, ill or disabled loved ones are stressed out and making some poor health choices for themselves, according a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The ana..... [more]
Source: Penn Medicine News PHILADELPHIA —Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients of different sexes and races may respond differently to treatment with commonly used medications for the disease, says a new study from researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.The results of the study are published online ahead of print in the journal CHEST. "Over the past decade, treatment outcomes have improved for PAH patients as a group, but litt..... [more]  



For more PH news visit the newsfeed on our website: or subscribe to the PH News RSS feed

The Pulse
Vol. 1 No. 5
           November 2011

Connect with PHA Canada:

View past issues of The Pulse at:


PH Resources: Your Help Needed
Conference 2011: Missing Headsets

Community Events Calendar

We are compiling a list of resources available to patients across the country, if you’ve taken advantage of any resources available in your province, or city (through government programs, other foundations etc.) please share the information with us so we can help others in your region. Email your resource info to:

CONFERENCE 2011: Missing Headsets
Attention Conference Attendees: at our recent conference in Toronto, four headsets were not returned to the translation table.  As we will be charged $428 for each missing set, we would really appreciate if you could check your conference bags to ensure that you have not accidentally taken a set home with you.  If you find one of the missing sets, please contact our office to arrange to have them shipped back to us free of charge.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Upcoming PH events:

Wednesday, November 2
Lend a Hand Launch Event
Plus Fifteen (North Bridge) venue of the Banker's Hall Complex (address), Calgary
Begins at 10:30 AM

Thursday, November 3
Lend a Hand Launch Event
Main entrance area of Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver
Begins at 11:30 AM

Friday, November 4
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM  

Saturday, November 5
Brebeuf College School
7:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Sunday, November 6
Downtown YMCA
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

End of November
Lend a Hand Wrap Up Event
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Details to follow
Hosting a PH-related event that you’d like us to help you publicize? Submit your event for our events calendar and we will include it in upcoming issues of The Pulse (and Connections, depending on timing)

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