$4,597 of $50,000 raisedSupport Harold
Faith, Family & Friends, Fitness, Finances
My name is Harold Laudien and I use the categories listed above to remind me what is important in my life. This year, I am unifying them to help one of the most giving people I know; a great family friend and my business partner, Kirsten Braley. In late 2017, Kirsten discovered her life would be forever changed when she was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. With her doctors’ help, she continues to look for the underlying cause of her disease that may one day lead to needing a lung transplant.
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a rare disease that affects arteries in the lungs and the right ventricle of the heart. PH has no known cure. Symptoms can include severe shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pressure. These conditions typically last a lifetime and progressively grow worse, but with medication and oxygen therapy Kirsten manages her symptoms. For Kirsten’s class of PH lung transplants are common.
Kirsten has dedicated much of her free time to serving the needs of others. She is active through her church, Kiwanis International, the YWCA and countless other worthy causes. Now, in her time of need, she receives support from those whom she actively volunteered alongside. Her devoted husband, loving dog, friends and neighbors help her maintain the mental strength and focus necessary to transition to life with PH. Her new reality challenged me to ask myself, how can I help?
While searching for that answer, I found Team PHenomenal Hope, a charity that has a sizeable team of volunteer endurance athletes who are paired with PH patients. The athletes race and raise funds to meet their goals of:
- Raising awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension
- Funding medical research to improve treatments and discover a cure
- Implementing programming focused on patient services to remove patients from isolation, build community and provide hope.
Over the past seven years, I have been on a personal journey toward health. I have developed a passion for endurance sports– specifically triathlon. Discovering that one of the only charitable organizations centered on PH works with endurance athletes (a truly rare focus) immediately answered my question of how to support Kirsten as she navigates this next chapter of her life. My plan is to share Kirsten’s physical struggle by challenging myself to undergo training and endurance competitions designed to push me beyond my current physical limits. I asked Kirsten to #LetMeBeYourLungs!
I am signed up for my first full distance Ironman in September 2018 and the Florida Xtreme Triathlon (a 3-day 310+ mile) triathlon in November 2018. My goal in committing to this rigorous physical and mental challenge is to increase awareness of PH and raise $50,000 for Team PHenomenal Hope. Your awareness, monetary support, and words of encouragement mean the world to Kirsten and me. Thank you for your consideration and please check back periodically to read updates on Kirsten’s health and my training.