The goal is to raise funds for pulmonary hypertension research and increase the public’s awareness of the disease.
PH Awareness Month is an annual event. Every November the community tries to call special attention to the need for early diagnosis of the disease, more effective and accessible treatments and, ultimately, a cure.
A key focus of the Life in Purple Challenge is helping Canadians and others learn more about PH, including what it means to live with the illness, according to a PHA Canada news release.
PH patients are invited to wear periwinkle purple, the official color of PH awareness, during the month. They are also encouraged to share their life story, and photos and videos illustrating the daily impact of their disease. They can do this at the campaign website and on social media, using the #LifeinPurpleChallenge hashtag.
Those who do not have PH are invited to learn more about it and show their support.
PHA Canada hopes that by taking the challenge, people will come to appreciate the many ways PH affects patients and their families.
Participants can take up challenges such as walking a certain number of steps or taking stairs instead of an elevator for the month, try new chores, donate their time, try to beat an old fitness record, or get out of their comfort zone by trying something new. The only rule is to be creative as a way of showing your solidarity with PH patients, their families, caregivers and friends.
For young supporters, PHA Canada has put together a special kid-friendly resource package with specially tailored challenges. Tasks can include doing chores like keeping your room clean, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash or doing homework; sharing toys with a sibling or a friend; eating healthy food, trying new foods or making sure you eat all your veggies.
About 5,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with PH, but as many as 10,000 may have it.
Unfortunately, many PH patients are misdiagnosed because the disease shares a number of symptoms with other conditions. Patients can spend more than two years trying to obtain an accurate diagnosis. This makes awareness of PH vitally important.