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 PuckerUp4PH.com 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. ”