In the last year, Trudy Seidel's life has changed drastically.
Last April, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, or PH, after being in the hospital in Iowa City for two weeks.
"It was 11 at night when my doctor came in and said, 'Well, you have pulmonary hypertension,'" Seidel said. "I thought, no big deal. Some kind of high blood pressure. Well, she wasn't really smiling."
PH is high blood pressure in the lungs. The right side of her heart is enlarged and the linings of the heart vessels are swollen. It can lead to right heart failure if left untreated.
The mother of four, including a toddler, noticed her symptoms a little more than a year ago. She was always tired and out of breath and coughed to the point of passing out.
"It came (that) I couldn't get up 12 stairs. I'd go up and get my daughter from a nap and I'd have to sit there for 10 minutes until I could breathe," said Seidel.
Seidel had never heard of PH before her diagnosis, but quickly learned she needed to take action.
"I have four kids, two little, and I want to be here," said Seidel.
There is no cure for PH, but Seidel is treating it through medications. She takes nine pills in the morning and six at night. She's also on and IV pump 24 hours a day.
All the medicines help to enlarge her heart vessels so blood can flow through.
Seidel wants to raise awareness about PH and help find a cure.
She's helping to organize a benefit on Saturday, May 4, at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Vinton from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It includes a garage sale, a plant sale, a bake sale and live and silent auctions.
All proceeds from the Pray PHor a Cure event will go to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
"I can't cure the disease, so there's no reason for me to have any money," said Seidel. "It needs to go where it can get cured."
Seidel said she is getting better with treatment, but PH is very unpredictable.
She hopes the upcoming benefit raises awareness about PH and ultimately leads to a cure for herself and many others.
For more information on PH, click here.
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