My #LetMeBeYourLungs Experience: Julie Tracy
After hearing from colleagues about Team PHenomenal Hope, I finally took the plunge and joined the team for 2017. As an exercise physiologist for Brigham & Women’s Hospital, I’ve been exposed to many pulmonary hypertension patients, and joining the team just made sense. I was asked if I wanted to be part of the #LetMeBeYourLungs program, and decided to choose one of our own patients instead of being matched. Camille was an obvious choice because of her love for cycling and positive attitude, and she agreed!
I met Camille for the first time back in 2015, and I remember her talking about riding her bike 20 miles with her parents, like it’s no big deal. She also talked about getting a mountain bike and going back to school to be a nurse practitioner. Let’s just say I was incredibly impressed with her drive despite all that she had been through.
I’ve been a swimmer, triathlete, and raced in many kinds of bike races throughout my endurance career. I wanted to do a different and challenging event this year, especially since I was racing not for myself, but for a good cause (and Camille!). The 200 mile Ohio RAAM challenge series in my old hometown was the one! There was extra motivation because of the #LetMeBeYourLungs program, and I ended up having a smooth race finishing 2nd in record time amongst all men! 200 miles was no big deal compared to the day to day struggles pulmonary hypertension patients must go through.
Camille and I exchanged a bunch of emails prior to the event. After the 200-mile race we finally could get together outside of the hospital. Camille is an avid hiker with her dog Arri and plans on getting a mountain bike post-transplant (check out her fundraising page for updates). She’s even convinced me to dust off my own mountain bike to join her once she’s ready! Looking forward to what 2018 brings for Camille and more racing, of course.