Let Me Be Your Lungs Spotlight: Carl and Zoe
Team PH board member, Carl Hicks, has been closely involved in the pulmonary hypertension community for many years. His initiation to the community came with the devastating news that his 12-year-old daughter, Meaghan, was diagnosed with a terminal illness, PH. Meaghan was given a year to live, but the doctors didn’t know Carl’s Meaghan. Tenacious, full of life, and tough, she lived life to the fullest, continuing to fight for many years. Meaghan brought great joy to the Hick’s family and everyone around her. After bravely enduring a heart-lung transplant, she died on January 30th, 2009.
A man of great love and action, Carl has given his time, energy, and passion to the PH community and fighting PH, especially fighting for Meaghan and young women like her. Carl has connected with several young PH patients through the Let Me Be Your Lungs program. To reach as many patients and families as possible and to spread the word about PH and Team PH, he connects with a new LMBYL honored patient hero each year. He’s met Brooke, Georgia, Michelle, Charlotte, Cheryl, Shaye, and now Zoe! Carl says he has “little Meaghans” all over the country, and he keeps up with them and their families through emails and phone calls. Each LMBYL partner and their families are so important and special to Carl. Maggie Jervey, our Development Manager, had an opportunity to connect with Zoe, Carl’s 2023 patient hero, and her mom for an interview!
Zoe is a kind, smart, 15 year old girl. She is a FIGHTER and has been battling PH her whole life. As we learned from talking with her, she doesn’t let her diagnosis hold her back. We asked her a few questions about her interests and passions. Check out our interview below.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am 15 years old and live on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. I’m in the 8th grade. I love to dance, listen to music, cook and play with my cat, Velvet. I love my cousins, Eva and Opal.
- What does it feel like to have Carl race in triathlons and raise awareness in your honor?
It feels very special to have Carl help and support kids like me who just want to do normal activities and live a big life.
- What is something you are looking forward to this coming year?
I am looking forward to flying to Arizona with my 16 year old cousin Eva, and no adults, to visit my Nana and Bapa for spring break.
- What advice would you give to a kid(or anyone) who just found out they have pulmonary hypertension?
Don’t be scared you can still have lots of fun. Become friends with other kids with PH, Go to the PHA conference to meet other families and kids. Don’t give up hope. And travel lots and do all the fun stuff you can.
- Carl mentioned you are going to Scotland this summer and you’ve been to Paris! What other places are on your list?
-Amsterdam and Germany to follow the life of Anne Frank
-New York City with my mom
-And back to Paris!
Support Carl’s efforts as part of the Let Me Be Your Lungs program here.