I'm Aware That I'm Rare: Harrison "Hap" Farber, MD

Harrison “Hap” Farber, MD discusses ways Team PHenomenal Hope seeks to build community with those suffering from PH including the #LetMeBeYourLungs program. Dr. Farber is the Vice President of Team PHenomenal Hope.

Dr. Farber is considered an opinion leader and internationally recognized expert in the field of pulmonary hypertension. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and attends in the Medical Intensive Care Unit and on the Pulmonary Consultation Service at Boston Medical Center. He also oversees the care of all patients with Pulmonary Hypertension at Boston Medical Center.


I’m Hap Farber from Boston University. For those of you who don’t know, Team PHenomenal Hope is a charity that involves multiple things but mostly to increase awareness about PH done originally through endurance athletics, but now through any form of athletics. It also has other aspects. One is the Unmet Patient Need Fund in which we try and take grants from patients about things that they can’t get that aren’t covered by insurance. The thing that we’ve done the most recently, that was pretty cool actually, was providing solar battery stuff for people in Puerto Rico with PH who were cut off from electricity by hurricanes.

Probably the coolest thing we do is this thing called #LetMeBeYourLungs. #LetMeBeYourLungs is a fascinating idea because obviously people with PAH can’t exercise a lot, they certainly can’t do endurance exercises, but since you can, if we partner you with a patient, when you race you’re racing for that patient. For example, let’s just say you were on Team PHenomenal Hope, you were going to run a marathon, and you were in Pittsburgh, for example. We would find a patient in Pittsburgh to pair with you, so you’re running that marathon for that patient.

I do it for a specific patient. For example, we did a 100-mile gravel bike race in Idaho last year. I did for her, as she was my #LetMeBeYourLungs partner, you know, and I finished, and I emailed her, and she was totally freaked out. She loved the fact that it happened. Plus you as an athlete, if you’re doing endurance stuff, you have ups, you have downs, but when you’re really down and if you think I can’t do this anymore, just think about who you’re racing for. They couldn’t do this at all so you go “Yeah, that’s crazy. I can do this,” so it’s pretty cool.

At the end of June at the International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, we’re going to have this bike-a-thon for Team PHenomenal Hope to raise awareness obviously for PH to raise money for Team PHenomenal Hope, and to showcase the #LetMeBeYourLungs thing for people who don’t know what it is. And in that vein, we’re going to have biking. You’ll basically rent an hour slot. The way the thing works is you bike for an hour. You go however you want to do it, you go as far as you want, whatever, and at the end the team that gets the farthest divided by the number of people, or the team that gets the most money divided by the people, will win something, but the coolest part of it is you’ll be paired, obviously there are a lot of patients there, we can pair everybody with a patient for #LetMeBeYourLungs, so you’ll bike for them.

In addition, the bikes that we’re using have been donated by Peloton, and at the end we’re going to raffle off the two bikes. They’re going to let us raffle off the two bikes. I mean, that’s roughly who we are, what we do. If anybody’s obviously more interested there’s a website for Team PHenomenal Hope. On the website it explains all of the programs, everything that we do. Go on it. Take a look at it. Come join us.

I’m Hap Farber, and I’m aware that I’m rare.

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