The Roberta Baines Wheeler Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Group, a nonprofit organization of pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, caregivers, families, medical professionals and volunteers, recently hosted its 5th annual RBW PH Awareness Day on the campus of Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee. This is the first time the event has been held in North Nashville.
“Nearly 300 people participated,” said organizer Dr. Katherine Y. Brown, only daughter of the late Roberta Baines Wheeler. “Providing education and resources to the community was wonderful. We appreciate everyone’s support.”
The free event included health education sessions, a 5K walk, bike, and roll, health screenings, education on pulmonary hypertension, blood pressure checks, dental education, cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, BMI testing, HIV testing, free manicures and hand massages, health education stations, face painting, games, a bouncing gym, Hip Hop Yoga, Hadley Park Line Dancers, Afro Cardio, Cupcake walk and more.
Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of high blood pressure. PH affects arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart. It begins when tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries, and capillaries become narrowed, blocked or destroyed. The result is making it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises pressure within your lungs’ arteries.
This happens because as the pressure builds, your heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail. It is a serious illness that becomes progressively worse and is sometimes fatal. There is no cure, but there is hope. Treatments are available that can help lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.
With a special appearance by Kenny Smoov from 92Q radio station, visits from elected officials including Judge Rachel Bell, a live deejay (Spiffy Boy Danny), and the Key Club at MLK High School, a great time was had by all on Nov. 4.
Event sponsors included the National Hook Up of Black Women, Learn CPR America, Logo My Logo, NaSah’s Nails, First Tennessee Bank, United Healthcare, DelBrita Greene (Dignity Memorial), Meharry Vanderbilt Alliance, and Sherita Hill. The planning team included KYB Leadership Academy participants Sydney Y. K. Brown, Jordan Hill, Cartiana Bell, Hadiyah Bell, Saidia Bell, Trinity Kinslow, Katelyn Starks, and Kayce Pritchett.
The list of volunteers included Beats and Yoga, American Heart Association, Greater Than AIDS, National Center for Medical Education, Development & Research, Meharry School of Medicine, Meharry Public Health Students, Meharry School of Dentistry, Sisters Network Nashville, Selfmade Health Network, Salt Wagon Clinic, Bold Enterprises, Music City Kiwanis, Top Ladies of Distinction, Top Teens of America, Jack and Jill Nashville Chapter, Hillsboro Cheerleaders, Students from Fisk University and Tennessee State University, Nashville Chapter Links Donor Awareness, and 100 Black Women.
The Roberta Baines Wheeler Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Day is all about helping people to know what the illness is, then increase awareness about it.
Plans are already underway for their 6th annual event to be held November 2018.
For more information, contact Dr. Katherine Y. Brown at 312-623-2433.