November PH Awareness Month
It’s begun! November is PH Awareness Month and, with your help, we’re planning on making as many people as possible aware of pulmonary hypertension, its symptoms, and its impact on patients, caregivers, family and friends. There are many ways to spread PH awareness
, and we hope that you’ll join our community’s efforts to make a periwinkle splash in the coming month!
PHighters and PH Supporters all over the country are taking part in awareness-raising activities. Our Ambassadors, PH Support Group Leaders, and members have planned activities big and small to make as many people as possible aware of what the letters PH stand for and just how strong the PH community is! To find out about PH Awareness Month events happening in your area, please have a look at our Community Events
postings on the right. If you are partaking in awareness-raising activities, please send us updates and photos throughout the month. We’d love to share your achievements with the community! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join our Lend a Hand Campaign!
We’ve received many Lend a Hand
kit orders, and are aiming for the sky: we’re hoping to collect a total of 10 000 signed handprints and the same amount of money to support our research scholarship
and our programs. If you want to participate in our Lend a Hand
Campaign, it’s not too late! Order your kit here
Spread PH Awareness on Social Media!
Social media channels are the perfect venue to reach out to people outside of the PH Community. Throughout the month of November, we encourage you to help us make our awareness-raising posts go
viral! Please like, share, retweet, and tag posts related to #PHAwarenessMonth.
We’ll be posting about PH awareness all month long on Facebook
. Keep an eye-out for our Tipping Point
Campaign posts with quotes contributed by members of our community! We invite you to change your profile picture on Facebook to a PH awareness image. Here’s the one we’ve created. Feel free to use and circulate it! Download image.
3rd Annual Masquerade Ball
Organized by PHA Canada Ambassador and PH nurse Gail Nicholson through YYCharity, the Third Annual Masquerade Ball in support of PHA Canada was a frank success! On October 24, Southern Alberta PH Supporters gathered at Cowboys Calgary for a dazzling evening of masquerade, performances, and PH community support. Thank you to all of those who contributed to the event!
PH Awareness Card
Supporter Karen Aiken and Grandmother of PHighter Olivia Zloty, participated in Karen Burniston's October 2015 Designer Challenge: Characters in Costume
, a challenge that invites craft designers to produce a thematic card. Karen used this challenge as an awareness-raising initiative and designed a card inspired by the “hoofbeats don’t always mean horses” idiom and “PH is a medical zebra” metaphor that we use as part of our early diagnosis messaging. In addition to producing the card, Karen published an extensive article on her blog
and on the popular craft making blog by Karen Burniston
Periwinkle Extravaganza Sale!
We want as much periwinkle and PH awareness-raising items as possible to be out in the world during PH Awareness Month, so we’re having a HUGE SALE on our most popular store items! If you want an extra purple blanket or a beautiful lung t-shirt, now is the time to make your order! We’ll throw in a PHA Canada pen, awareness pin and awareness keychain with every purchase!
Items on sale until the end of November (all prices include shipping):
Another way to raise funds is through online donations. We’ve created an online fundraising campaign in conjunction with PH Awareness Month. Some of our Board members, Ambassadors and community members have created personal fundraising pages to benefit PHA Canada. We invite you to show your support by making a donation to their pages. All donations will support PHA Canada’s programs.
Access PH Awareness Month 2015 Fundraising Pages.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile and help raise funds to support our activities, we invite you to create a personal online donation page, through which you can ask family and friends to make a financial contribution to PHA Canada. Online fundraising is for everyone, not just the tech-savvy. Creating your own personal fundraising page is quick and easy to do and is a great way to reach out to all your contacts and spread PH awareness at the same time.
Visit phacanada.ca/phawarenessmonth2015 to start your own online fundraising campaign!
The Role of the Nitric Oxide Pathway in PAH and Drugs Targeting this Pathway
Contributed by Mohamad Taha, PH Researcher
In this issue, we will address some questions regarding PH therapy, more specifically, the role of the nitric oxide pathway in PAH and the drugs targeting this pathway.
- What is the nitric oxide (NO) pathway composed of?
This pathway is one of the crucial pathways leading to blood vessel relaxation (vasodilation) in the lungs. Nitric oxide (NO) is produced from a molecule called L-arginine, an amino acid that can be synthesised in our body or acquired from diet, with the help of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). NO binds soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), leading to production of a new molecule called cyclic guanisone monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP is the molecule responsible for vasodilation/relaxation of the blood vessels, however, it can be degraded by a family of enzymes called the phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5). NO is usually produced in endothelial cells—the cells lining the inside of blood vessels—but then is taken up by smooth muscle cells—the cells making the second layer within a blood vessel that is important for vessel contraction.
- I am confused! How does this pathway work again?
> High levels of NO/sGC result in high production of cGMP, leading to blood vessel relaxation.
> Low levels of NO/sGC result in low production of cGMP, leading to blood vessel tightening.
- Why is this pathway important in PAH?
In PAH, there are dramatic decreases in NO. This results in low vessel relaxation, and constant constriction, leading to narrowing of the blood vessels in the lungs. The effect of this is increased pressure in the lungs and pulmonary arteries. To continue reading the article please click here.
Fat-free Pasta Salad
Contributed by: Kate McGoey-Smith
This is a healthy, fat-free delicious pasta salad—easy to pack for lunch or serve at home! This recipe can be served hot or cold. Recipe is for for 8 1-cup servings.
2 cups dry pasta spirals (whole grain)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 15 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts (water-packed), drained and rinced to reduce sodium
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 15 oz can of dark kidney besns, drained
1 cup non-fat italian salad dressing (Kraft - makes a non-fat version or replace with flavoured vinegar to reduce sodium)
Cook pasta according to directions, drain and rinse in cold water and place in large bowl. Add
remaining ingredients to pasta and toss to mix.
Optional Toppings: peas; corn; tomatoes; broccoli florets.
Recipe courtesy of forksmart.org which offers nutrition and cooking workshops to promote better health!! Contact Kate McGoey-Smith for questions 403-519-9261.