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Pucker up to raise disease awareness
A WOMAN wants to help break a world record to raise awareness of a disease which has prevented her having children.
Lynsey Pegram, 32, from Witney, suffers from the incurable lung condition pulmonary hypertension (PH) and may soon need a heart and lung transplant.
Now she is urging people across Oxfordshire to join an estimated 40,000 others around the world who are donning blue lipstick to raise the profile of one of the main symptoms of the disease.
If successful, the Pucker Up 4 PH scheme – which asks people to provide a blue lipstick print of their lips – will set a new Guinness World Record.
Mrs Pegram, of Thorney Leys, was part of a small committee which came up with the record breaking idea.
She may only live for another 10 years and has already been told she can’t have children.
She said: “I was diagnosed in August last year after being struck by the disease very quickly.
“I was fortunate to be sent to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after fainting at work.
“I saw a doctor who had worked with a PH expert in London and immediately recognised the disease.
“I am still able to work as an accounts manager for a charity in Witney which rehouses ex-offenders.
“But I have been told I cannot have any children which has come as a devastating blow.
“Physically I am ok at the moment as the medication is working, but emotionally it is very hard.
“Still, the good days outweigh the bad and I am very lucky in many ways.”
The disease is caused by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs – and early diagnosis is crucial.
Common symptoms include blue lips, shortness of breath, fatigue, and coughing.
With correct treatment and faster diagnosis almost two thirds of PH patients will survive longer than five years, However, if it is not treated, about 50 per cent of patients die within two years.
Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK, a charity which Mrs Pegram volunteers at, is launching the new campaign today.
Mrs Pegram said: “Research shows that lack of awareness of PH can delay a correct diagnosis of the condition for as much as two to three years.
“For those of us who have been diagnosed, public ignorance of the disease can make living with it very difficult.”She added: “I was one of the lucky ones as I was diagnosed early.
“This campaign will hopefully make more people aware of PH and we will have fun doing it.”
Mrs Pegram will join forces with members of 29 worldwide patient groups for the record attempt.
They will also distribute information on PH and encourage anyone who lives with unexplained breathlessness to visit their GP.
Paul Pennington, from PHA-UK, said: “ We hope that as many people as possible can help Lynsey put PH on the map locally and help break the record.”
- For more information about how to take part, visit PuckerUp4PH.com
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