Joan's daughter Brooke was diagnosed with severe PAH in March 2014 at 24. She has always considered herself to be Brooke's primary caregiver. Yet, because Brooke remains very independent, her support has probably been more emotional than physical - one is no less important than the other! So, she thinks a better descriptor of her role in Brooke's journey would be as an advocate. Joan's advocacy started very early - on day one with Brooke's medical team! She wanted to understand what medications were available to treat PAH (and was shocked to learn that drug access depends on where you live in Canada) and when new treatments might be available to PAH patients. In 2017, Joan became a PHA Canada Ambassador and served as an Ambassador until her election to the Board of Directors in December 2021.
Joan has learned a lot about Canada's drug development and approval processes since the early days of Brooke's diagnosis. As a Director, she strives to use her knowledge to advocate for earlier and more equal access to PH treatments for patients wherever they live in Canada. Joan is also passionate about advocating for changes to the rare disease drug approval process so that even more patients can access potentially new and exciting treatments in the future. And, of course, Joan will always be committed to providing emotional and physical support for Brooke whenever she needs it.