woman Ally Whan will be cooking up a storm tomorrow (Saturday)
when she launches her new cook book in aid of the Pulmonary
Hypertension Association (PHA).
24-year-old Ally was diagnosed with Pulmonary
Hypertension in November 2006 and she decided to collect
together hundreds of different recipes for her book entitled
'Ally's Racey Recipes', which will see proceeds going towards
research for the illness.
As Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Week runs
from November 9 to 15, Ally is hoping her recipes will go down a
treat with local people and help to raise funds towards finding
new treatments for the condition, when she launches her book in
Ballynahinch Leisure Centre. Ally explained: "In its simplest
terms Pulmonary Hypertension is high blood pressure in the
lungs. The heart is not designed to pump against these high
pressures and over time it starts to 'fail'.
"It is a rare but devasting disease. It
currently only has one definitive cure: a lung or heart and lung
Ally continued: "I was diagnosed with the
disease in November 2006. In September 2006 I came down with a
chesty cough that I couldn't get rid of. I had to stop halfway
up the stairs in work and I couldn't get a breath.
"The doctor referred me to the hospital and I
stayed in the Royal Victoria Hospital for six weeks, where I was
diagnosed. I was then sent to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge,
which is a specialist unit for Pulmonary Hypertension."
Because of the rarity of the disease, which
affects one person in a million, there are no specialist
treatment centres or support groups in Northern Ireland, leaving
Ally having to travel to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for treatment.
"I am on various tablets and a special
nebuliser seven times a day to keep the pressure at bay," she
said. 'They thought I might need a heart and lung transplant but
thankfully that is away down the list and if the medication
continues to do what it's doing I'll not need it."
Ally came up with the idea of creating a cook
book in March when she was leafing through her mum's collection
of books. "I noticed that a lot of the cook books were in aid of
something, so I decided to do something similar for Pulmonary
Hypertension. It is not a very well known disease and I wanted
to raise awareness of it as well as raising funds.
"I typed up letters appealing for recipes
which I gave to my family, friends, work colleagues and
neighbours and I received hundreds of recipes back which I typed
up. A friend then approached me about helping
with the printing. I recently received the
final version back and I am more than pleased with it.
"The book costs £8 and the entire proceeds go
to the charity. It has 354 recipes, everything from starters to
soups, main courses and desserts, I'm chuffed with it."
Prior to her diagnosis Ally had never heard
of Pulmonary Hypertension, and that is something she is hoping
to change among the general public.
"I had never heard tell of it," she
explained. "It restricts you an awful lot in what you do, it
restricts exercise and I get tired
very easily. The disease mainly affects
women, although children can get it too.
"I hope the proceeds from this book can go
towards finding new medication to avoid the transplant route,"
Ally's book will be available to purchase
from the craft fair which will be held at Ballynahinch Leisure
Centre tomorrow from 10am to 4pm, alternatively if you would
like to purchase 'Ally's Racey Recipes' please telephone her on
07738590135 or 97 532151.