Welcome to the Pheochromocytoma Support Foundation
My pheo story began in late 2012. I arrived in the ER, head pounding. I had spent the last several weeks in bed, vomiting, and the last 24 hours hallucinating at various points. I hesitated going to the ER that day, for fear I would hear the things I had heard many times before. Fear of rejection by doctors thinking I was after prescription pain medications, fear of being given yet another blood pressure medication that would not really work. Fear of being told my diabetes (which I worked hard to control) was out of control and being looked at as if I was lying to the doctors when I told them how hard I worked to control it.
Luckily for me, a doctor was working that day who looked past it all and thought outside the box of diabetes and high blood pressure. A doctor who recognized that I really was experiencing stroke symptoms, that the diabetes diagnosis was wrong, that I was sweating excessively, I was unusually pale, and I suffered from chronic headaches that made migraines look mild. This was the doctor that moved me from the Emergency Room to the Intensive Care Unit, and suggested I be tested for a pheochromocytoma.
I am a survivor. I am one of the lucky ones whose pheochromocytoma was found before it was too late. I arrived at the ER with less than 48 hours to live, because my body was giving up, and I am here today to tell my story.
My story inspired me to go looking for others, and spurred a wanting deep inside to educate people. Pheo symptoms can be very generic, and I believe with better medical education we can save others through early detection. I believe we can help family members and loved ones know what we need as we go through this. I believe we can band together and support each other, because pheo patients experience a unique situation that only other patients can truly understand. I vowed, personally, to do what was in my power so that a patient would never feel alone.
So, I formed the Pheochromocytoma Support Foundation to do just that, educate and support.
I want to personally invite you to join this crusade with me. Let's link arms, and get out there, and shine the light on pheochromocytoma awareness and early detection! Let's make the world Think Zebra.
PSF Founder & CEO, Pheo Survivor.
The PSF Mission
The mission of the Pheochromocytoma Support Foundation is to raise public and professional awareness about pheochromocytomas, while providing support, hope, and knowledge to patients and families.
"Shine the Light. Think Zebra."
"Shine the Light. Think Zebra."
The PSF believes through education we can increase diagnosis. We must education both the medical community, and the general population. By "shining the light" on a pheos generic symptoms (headache, blood pressure, diabetes symptoms, etc.) and making people more "pheo aware", we believe we can increase the percentage of pre-mortem diagnosis's and the survival rate of pheochromocytoma patients.
We want to encourage the medical community to not just hear hoof beats, but to "Think Zebra."
PSF Board Members
Jennifer Shepard - Founder & CEO
Michael Shepard - Director, Agent
Nancy Lowery - Director
Debra Fowler - Secretary/Treasurer
PSF Contact Representatives
Erica Searles - United States
Emma Jessop - United Kingdom