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Saturday, February 19th, 2011

On the 18th of February 2010 we broke the Guinness World Record for the collection of Blue Lip prints by 15,000 kisses. (see our home page to view a couple of films from the day’s count) Although 80,000 entries had been recieved from the 32 groups/regions across the world who had taken part only 54,000 or so were deemed eligible.

Thank you to Kerry Freedman, head teacher Tony Roberts and everyone at Castlebrook High School in Bury, Lancs in the UK for all their help. The learners who assisted with the count were fantastic and a real credit to the school and of course their families.

Congratulations to everyone who got involved around the World. We’d also like to pay tribute to Dr Chris Steele from ITV’s This Morning, PHA-UK patron who gave up his time to attend the event, explanation about PH and for taking part in lots of photographs and autograph giving. We’ll have photos from the event on this blog very soon!!

The Final Countdown

Friday, February 11th, 2011

What an incredible journey the last two years has been. So much dedication across the World to boost awareness of Pulmononary Hypertension and a back office team at PuckerUp4PH HQ who through their efforts have equalled the determination of so few to get so many interested in this rare lung condition.

Wev very much hope that this tim,e next week we are able to share extremely good news on the World Record attempt.

UK’s Favourite TV Doc To ‘Kiss Off’ Blue Lip World Record Count

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Popular TV medic, Dr Chris Steele, is launching the final stage of an innovative, charity led, global health education campaign on February 18th 2011 at a North West England High School that looks set to break a Guinness World Record ™.

The UK’s favourite GP, enjoying his 21st year on ITV’s award winning daytime TV show ‘This Morning’, is patron of the patient support charity the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA-UK) whose ‘Puckerup4PH’ campaign has inspired people across the World to collect thousands of blue lip prints as part of an initiative to boost the profile of the incurable, serious lung/heart condition PH (Pulmonary Hypertension). Research by PHA-UK shows as little as 3% of the public know anything about PH. Blue lips or cyanosis, as its medically termed, can be a sign of the condition.

Pupils at the specialist Science & Technology College, Castlebrook High School in Bury, Greater Manchester in the UK, have not only lent 366 blue lip prints to the campaign, they’ll also be assisting with the official count of the tens of thousands of blue lip prints gathered from across the globe, under the watchful eye of independent witnesses and officials from Guinness World Records ™.

More than 100 pupils from Castlebrook High School will be involved in the final count at the school’s independent learning zone on February the 18th. The event will be filmed and recorded live for the campaign’s website, with edited reports appearing online throughout the day.

36 year old Kerry Freedman, who teaches Design & Technology at the school, tragically lost her sister, Victoria Lynn, to the illness seven years ago, aged 20. (Please visit the PH films section of this site to see a moving tribute to Victoria. Her inspiring book ‘a breath of fresh air’ is available from the pucker press office) Kerry and her family are keen supporters of PHA-UK and have raised thousands of pounds for the charity. Kerry said, “To break a Guinness World Record would be just fantastic! Victoria would be so proud of this achievement. For the two year campaign to be finalised and broadcast from our school is such an honour. I am so grateful to the Head, Mr Tony Roberts and to my colleagues and pupils for their unfailing support.”

Castlebrook High School’s Head teacher Mr Tony Roberts added, “I am very excited at the prospect of the school helping to break a Guinness World Record. We’ve had a fantastic response from staff and learners to the campaign. Ahead of our involvement, a presentation was shown to the school about Pulmonary Hypertension, which inspired our school community to want to do all they could to help. “

PuckerUp4PH is the brainchild of broadcast journalist & campaigner, Paul Pennington. He said, “Everyone connected with the campaign is deeply grateful to Castlebrook High School for their support. Looking at the ten huge boxes crammed full with blue lip prints ready to be counted, it is going to be quite a day!”

“I developed the simple eye-catching blue lip motif for PHA-UK and the PH community, a couple of years back to help grab the attention of the 97% of the population who don’t know about this complex, deadly lung disease. Research by PHA-UK shows it can take an average of 2-3 years to achieve a correct diagnosis of the condition with lack of awareness believed to contribute to those delays, preventing people gaining access to the specialised care and treatments they need. Today people with PH are living longer and with a better quality of life, but early diagnosis is key.”

“February 18th marks the culmination of a two year long global awareness campaign that my team and I developed around the blue logo that has attracted the support of 32 PH patient groups from America to Australia. Although it has been quite a task, creating and shipping several tonnes of educational materials in 10 different languages, working with patient groups from Quebec to Queensland to make it all happen, it has been extremely rewarding to see the enthusiasm and creativity the campaign has inspired in each part of the world. Activities have ranged from a Blue Kissing Wall in Tel Aviv to mass blue lipped workouts in Brisbane.”

“The sheer volume of PH awareness achieved by this campaign is very gratifying. Not only has it helped put the condition on the map, its assisted in aiding a number of people be diagnosed with PH and for those living with the disease to feel less isolated. I have my fingers firmly crossed for everyone who has been involved that they’ve collected more than the 39,538 lip prints required to break the existing Guinness World Record. ”

Blue lip Count Update

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

It’s been a while since we have given you an update on where things are with the PH Awareness raising campaign that we’ve been leading round the world, namely the Guinness World Record attempt…’PuckerUp4PH. The PU4PH team, have been beavering away since the first of December administrating all the entries. The good news is…we have received far in excess of the figure stated on the PHA UK radio show at Xmas…. but only just over half of the 10’s of thousands of entries recieved had been listed… alongside all the UK entries which we were expecting to do…..we’ve had to data enter all these others as well….we’ve also had quite a number of ineligible entries….this process, is thankfully coming to an end. I’m hoping that early next week we’ll be able start to pull together the ‘official count’ the following fortnight…so we may then claim the new World record for the PH community, here and across the World and generate further awareness of PH via the media.

Into 2011..

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

A very Happy New Year to all our supporters. Work has recommenced on the administration work needed to put all the Blue lip prints into a format that is acceptable to Guinness World Records. Of course we still have to have an official count of the puckered prints, which we hope will take place at the end of January. We’ll keep you upto speed on all the news as it please log back on again soon.

Blueb Kiss Counting

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The puckerup4ph team are up to their ears in Blue Kisses/Besos Azules from across the World. Ahead of the official count we have to verify all entries prior to that process taking place. It’s quite a time consuming exercise, which we are getting through. Our efforts aren’t helped by unexpected administrative duties. Sadly not all kisses were listed by participants, we have 12,000 lip prints to data enter.With Xmas upon us, it now looks likely that we won’t be able to complete the official count this side of 2010.

Towards A New World Record

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

The Blue Kisses from this byears campaign are arriving from all over the world. It’s so wonderful to see all the dfferent shapes and sizes of lip prints, young and old, united in a common cause to try and swell understanding about Pulmonary Hypertension in all its guises.

The task of collating and administrating the World record attempt is in the capable hands of Elizabeth Hinchey, who has played a large part in keeping everything moving along so well during the course of the campaign. We have quiite a task in verfiying the 10’s of thousands of Blue lip prints we’ve recieved (or still to recieve) ahead of getting the official count under way. We’ll keep you in touch with our porgress via this blog, so please log on again soon.

As The Campaign Reaches It’s Late Stages

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has supplied us with photos and news of what they’ve been up to…we’ve been quite staggered by the amount of activity. Thank you, one and all.

As we move into the late stages of the campaign the PuckerUp4PH campaign team, led by Paul Pennington & Elizabeth Hinchey, would like to pay tribute to the PHA-UK trustees and all the PHA-UK staff and members for their support throughout the lifecycle of this intiaitive. We’ll have more on the campaign in the Xmas edition of the PHA-UK radio show ‘EmPHAsis On Air’, including the estimate, ahead of the official count, of just how many blue kisses we will/have recieved. (You can listen in via the PHA-UK website from the 5th of December)

A big thank you also to United Therapeutics, Pfizer, Actelion & Bayer for their two year Global support of the PuckerUp4PH campaign made available via unrestricted educational grants , and to GSK for their contribution in Europe. Further grateful thanks to Bayer for funding the printing and dissemination of campaign materials (in 10 languages) across the Globe and to their regional offices for being supportive of all the participating association’s events & initiatives.

Around the World..

Puerto Rico, we salute you!! Luz Batista Santiago, who generously donated her lips to form the Blue Lip logo used this year has led from the front. Her group alone will have generated a quarter of the lip prints needed to break the World record. Our thanks to everyone in Puerto Rico for their support and hard work. Congratulations also to the other Puerto Rican group led by Mrs Mineliz Colon. To hear of the signifcant impact this campaign has had in raising understanding of the condition in your part of the world and beyond by both groups is truly fantastic.

Thank you New Zealand for your 960 kisses and all that you’ve done to get more poeple to be PH aware.

We’re grateful to our friends in Singapore, who have completed collecting kisses from 3 other major centres, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the National Heart Centre at the Singapore General Hospital & National University Hospital. The last roadshow on the 4th November 2010 rounded up their PuckerUp4PH Singapore campaign. A big thank you to everyone who took part, to the hospitals and health care professionals who showed their support and to Bayer’s representatives who did so much to support the initiatives locally.

A huge thank you to our PHriends in Israel, who certainly set a high bar in the early stages of the campaign and whose creative use of the blue lip ‘logo was an interesting talking point across the World.  They and we would like to send our grateful thanks to Neopharm for their support of all the Israeli activities.

Congratulations to all the participating groups across Canada who look like delivering three to four times more kisses than was first expected, so many great individual and group efforts to raise awareness of PH and contribute to the World record attempt. Attendees of the first ever Ottawa support group meeting at the Ottawa Heart Institute as well as other heart institute staff and visitors participated in puckering up before their meeting (103 kisses) Jo-Anne Mainwood collected an additional 530 kisses from Trillium Elementary School, Orleans Ontario where she teaches and another from St Peter Catholic High School in Orleans, Ontario. She’s on her way to contributing well over 1000 blue kisses. 

Thank you to all at Germany’s – Pulmonale Hypertonie EV for their support from the start of the campaign. Through several events and patient meetings they’ve delivered far more kisses than expected. Bayer,once again have been particularly active and supportive there.

Although relative late comers to the campaign, the Spanish involvement in the PuckerUpPH has been immense, truly amazign and are giving Puerto Rico a run for who will contribute the most blue kisses and PH awareness  with so many people and organisations getting behind what we are collectively seeking to acheive, for instance the chain of supermarkets DIA, delivered information and material between its employees around Spain and many of them participated weighing in with over 3000 kisses.

Central and Southern America have really embraced the Blue Lip logo and PH awareness raising scheme , extensive media coverage and a huge number of  small and large events they even have a Blue Kiss song! Special thanks to the PH Latin Society and once again to Bayer’s representatives for all your involvement.

In Mexico, despite not being able to be involved in the campaign until late on, after problems with local customs significantly delayed the release of their kiss collecting & awareness swelling materials, they have gone about their task with great gusto. We salute everyone whose done so much to make this initiative a success there. We are only just starting to learn of how many kisses have been collected..the only one word we can find to summarise our ‘wow’ !! 

In the US, so many support groups, church organisations, schools, universities and individual efforts doing what they can (Christine Dickler from PHA in the US will be a guest on the forthcoming PHA-UK radio show, available via the wesbite from the 5th of December discussing the impact of the PuckerUp4PH campaign there and across the planet) thank you one and all for all that you’ve done. Here’s just a small sample of the activities we know of: Childrens Day at the Louisiana Pecan Festival saw a Pucker Up Booth thanks to Regina Maddox. Ashley Orr has been busy not only getting her college, University of Alabama, involved, but also another, University of Alabama Birmingham. She firmly believes she will surpass her goal of 600 kisses and huge amounts of PH awareness, very easily. Young PH-er Maddie Bonpin celebrated her 5th birthday this week and 33 friends combined celebrating this lovely little girls life and PH awareness month by puckering up! Congratulations to Lauren Johnson who tells us she’s had a real blast encouraging people at her school (Carl Albert High in Mid West City)  and others to get involved. She’s well on her way to making a significant contribution to our record attempt, more important of course is the numbers of people who now know about PH and fully understand what she lives with. Such an inspiring young woman,one of many folk in US we’ve become friends with, who like their PHriends around the World we respect and admire.

Our thanks to Novartis in East Hanover – Volunteers set-up booths outside the 3 main cafeterias for 3 hours on the Novartis Pharmaceuticals East Hanover NJ campus and collected blue lip prints from participants, we understand colleagues in Switzerland and the UK got involved also.

PHA-Australia have been hard at work getting the good folk of their country  involved and interested in the campaign, we’d particularly like to thank PHA-A president Joan Godber and all the group’s members for their fantastic support. A special mention for Bayer and Pfizer for their local support of PHA-A activities in PH awareness month.

We’d like to thank all our Irish friends, Norwegian, Polish and South African Phriends for your involvement. We look forward to hearing your news soon.

Hello to everyone in Afghanistan and Bosnia Herzegovina for their contribution to boosting knowledge and understanding of PH as well as the kisses you’ve contributed to the World record attempt.  (A special hello to Emina Hadzihasanovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina thank you and your friends for your 43 blue lip prints, we will not be updating the blue lip tally on the home page, but we will keep you up to date and all our other followers around the world with all the latest news on Blue Lip print collecting via this PuckerUp4PH blog and of course our facebook page. Once all prints are gathered and verified we will announce the final tally for each nation in the 2010 campaign.)

In Italy, congratulations to one and all who got involved. Hello to AMIP member Silvia Veccholi who had a gazebo dedicated to PH at a “antiques market” that is held in Ostia Lido, a little town near Rome. She handed out our leaflets, spoke about her experience with the illness and collected many blue kisses.

True Blue Aussies

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Over the last few weeks the McGrath Family have been hard at work holding events in the name of Pulmonary Hypertension. Their mission was to collect as many Lip Imprints a possible. In their own words here’s a snap shot they’ve been up to.

“Our first event kicked off with an ambitious goal of getting 500 people together to participate in a Zumba dance class in the name of Pulmonary Hypertension. We didn’t quite get to our goal however amazingly some 300 people came out in support of the event on a sunny Saturday morning. It was a great chance to raise awareness and also celebrate the short but full life of young Alex McGrath and boy who loved to groove. Thankyou to the YMCA Redland Bay, the Zumba instructors for giving up their time and the many people who supported by attending, puckering up and dancing on the big day.

Collecting of lip imprints has continued across various community groups and work locations. Alex’s primary school St Rita’s showed their support in his memory getting students, teachers and support staff to pucker up.

The dedicated Nurses and Doctors that work out of the Brisbane Mater Children’s Hospital Respiratory Unit and Children’s Wards take a moment out of their busy day to get involved in puckering up in support of the world record effort.

Finally some one hundred (100) people from the team at the Woolworths Limited Distribution Centre lend their lips and have a lot of fun in the process. Don’t worry guys its just zink.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken time to support, encourage and of course lend his or her lips for this wonderful cause. This has certainly been a positive and rewarding way to raise awareness and honour our “Little Man”.

Lists & Lists & Lists of Blue Kisses & Tons Of Awareness

Friday, November 26th, 2010

It’s absolutely brilliant, if not a little overwhelming, to see the scale of our supporters work across the World arrive at the puckerup4ph headquarters. Although within sight of the end of this campaign, we are still receiving enquiries from across the World wanting to get involved!! Fantastic!!

A huge thank you to everyone that is preparing lists of the names of people who have puckeredup4ph and learnt about the condition. Thanks also to those who have sent initial batches of kisses back, along with photos, media coverage et al. We will do all we can to share as much as we can, but that’s quite a task!! We really are taken aback by all that everyone has done, from single kisses of folk who just want to show their support from afar to group efforts. With so much to gather and process we will be delaying, only slightly, the official count and verification process but hope to share via the PHA-UK radio show, emPHAsis on-air, an estimate of the size of our acheivements. This should be online at the website from the 5th of December onwards.