Charity aims to kiss its way to a new world record

PUBLISHED: 10:30 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 10 June 2010

THE mother of a Brixington teenager who died of a rare lung disease in January has backed a national campaign to raise awareness of her daughter's illness. Brave Leanne Pannell, 19, a successful gymnast, scuba diver, kickboxing brown-belt and aspiring mod

THE mother of a Brixington teenager who died of a rare lung disease in January has backed a national campaign to raise awareness of her daughter's illness.Brave Leanne Pannell, 19, a successful gymnast, scuba diver, kickboxing brown-belt and aspiring model, lost her fight with Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) - six years after being given just 18 months to live.Now her family has thrown their weight behind the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) Awareness Week from November 9 to November 15.They are appealing for Exmouth residents to help break a world record attempt for the most 'lip prints' collected.Blue lips, or cyanosis, is a sign someone has PH - and the charity PHA UK is asking for people to print off an entry form, mark it with a blue lip print using blue lipstick, or mark and print it on blue paper, and send it in.The record is 39,768, and to break that they are aiming for 40,000, which Tracie says will raise awareness of this rare life threatening lung disease.Tracie Pannell, of St Johns Road, said: "If her illness had been diagnosed earlier it could have prolonged the prognosis."It would not have cured her but it would have prolonged her life."She said she understood there were finite resources in the NHS and said: "If you have 30,000 people with cancer and one in a million with PH, they are going to put more into cancer."But if the illness can be diagnosed and recognised by doctors earlier, a course of treatment could have started earlier."PH is a disease where blood pressure in the artery that connects the heart and lungs is too high, limiting the levels of blood oxygen, causing fatigue and breathlessness.Paul Pennington, of PH campaigns UK, said: "Diagnosis can take up to two or three years."With the correct treatment and fast diagnosis, almost two-thirds of PH patients will survive longer than five years. However, if not treated, half die within two."If you want to try to help break the record, go to: www.pha-uk.com.

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