“I will never give up!”
I’m Gerald Fischer, the founder of the Lungenkinder Forschungsverein (Lung Children Research Association), President of PH Austria – Initiative Lungenhochdruck and managing director of PHAEUROPE.
After a long time of perplexity and despair, the cause of the symptoms of my then three-year-old daughter Maleen was found: “Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension” and a life expectancy of a maximum of 5 years.
Such a family stroke of fate destroys worlds. We looked for help and found Dr. Robyn Barst in New York. She was able to treat my daughter Maleen and give her more lifetime, which is difficult, however. Children with pulmonary hypertension are very isolated. They are not able to play in playgrounds, they cannot go hiking with their family or even go to school. Every movement is a burden on the body, every infection can be fatal.
As I asked Dr. Robyn Barst from Columbia University why the disease was incurable, she replied that there were too few patients to induce the industry to do basic research. Dr. Robyn Barst said, “Give me 10 million dollars and I will find a cure”.
Such a statement can move a father, who is fighting for the life of his daughter, to a bank robbery – instead I founded the Lungenkinder Forschungsverein (Lung Children Research Association) in 1999 and in 2002 I took over the PH Austria – Initiative Lungenhochdruck as President and 2003 I was co-founder of PHAEurope, with the goal of more awareness for PH and to ensure access to treatment for every patient. I have been working on it every day, to keep my daughter alive until a cure for this disease is found! Today she is 25 years old and is doing her master’s degree in Creative Writing at Harvard University. I will never give up! Every Euro spent on research counts and can extend and maybe even save lives!