Meet The Mentors

Meet the mentors
Meet The Mentors

Men and women of all ages and backgrounds have volunteered for our PEER Mentor program. From former dance instructors to gardeners to teachers and more, you’re bound to find someone you’ll feel comfortable connecting with.

Get to know some of our dedicated PEER Mentors.

Profile picture for user Karen S.
Name
Karen S.
Age Range
50-59
Location
Okemos, MI
Occupation
Retired Salon Owner/Hairdresser
Diagnosis Date
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after going to the ER for shortness of breath and dizziness and went into cardiac arrest.
Enjoys reading books, watching movies, and babysitting.
Quote
“I remember what it was like when I was first diagnosed. I was lonely, sick, and scared. So, I am interested in doing something like the PEER Network to share my story with others.”

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Profile picture for user Perry
Name
Perry
Age Range
60+
Location
Fresno, CA
Occupation
Retired from Printing Business
Diagnosis Date
Background
Began experiencing difficulty breathing in 2001. Diagnosed with systemic hypertension and an enlarged heart in 2007. Lost consciousness during a coughing fit while driving, causing him to crash into a parked car. Was diagnosed with PAH in the hospital after an EKG.
Hobbies include watching sports, gardening, and car restoration.
Quote
“I always had to be careful. Now I don’t have to. You know, what I’m really looking forward to is being able to jump in my swimming pool and go swimming again.”

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Profile picture for user Tara
Name
Tara
Age Range
30-39
Location
Mount Arlington, NJ
Occupation
Part-Time Receptionist for Landscaping Company
Diagnosis Date
Background
Hobbies include reading, cooking, swimming, going on walks, and being outside.
Quote
“I’ve learned that you’re not alone in this. Getting a diagnosis is the scariest part. Learning there are other people out there who are there for you is important. You are more than this disease. Do not let this disease define you.”

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Profile picture for user Alecia
Name
Alecia
Age Range
30-39
Location
Murrysville, PA
Occupation
Stay-at-home Mom
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after experiencing shortness of breath for one year. Hobbies include boating and Pilates.

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Profile picture for user Cynthia
Name
Cynthia
Age Range
60+
Location
Irvington, NY
Occupation
Retired Dance Instructor
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after experiencing trouble breathing.
Hobbies include exercising, Pilates, and horseback riding

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Profile picture for user David
Name
David
Age Range
60+
Location
Saco, ME
Quote
“I am a caregiver for my wife who was diagnosed in 1976. I am a father and grandfather. After nearly 40 years in education, I’m semi-retired. I’m involved with pulmonary arterial hypertension support groups. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering and reading.”

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Profile picture for user Donna
Name
Donna
Age Range
30-39
Location
Washington, DC
Occupation
Nurse
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH at the age of four even though she didn’t have symptoms until high school.
Hobbies include board games, singing, playing outside, and doing crafts with her kids.

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Profile picture for user Jeannette
Name
Jeannette
Age Range
60+
Location
Saco, ME
Occupation
Retired Physical Education Teacher
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after having health problems participating in college athletics a few years earlier.
Hobbies include scrapbooking, paying guitar, singing at church, and being the program coordinator for her PAH golf tournament.
Quote
“The more people I can meet and share with, the better. I give hope to a lot of people – that is my whole purpose. I don’t want anyone to feel isolated and alone.”

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Profile picture for user Karen L.
Name
Karen L.
Age Range
60+
Location
Bowling Green, OH
Occupation
Retired Secondary School Teacher
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after having trouble breaking and suffering from sleep apnea in 2006.
Enjoys theatre, acting in local programs, spending time with her grandchildren, and participating in the Silver Sneakers fitness program.

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Profile picture for user Nicole
Name
Nicole
Age Range
Under 30
Location
Longwood, FL
Occupation
Student
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH at the age of 15.
Hobbies include drawing and playing video games.
Quote
“There are others out there who are on the medicines. They can help you with more information and let you know what to expect.”

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Profile picture for user Sally
Name
Sally
Age Range
40–49
Location
Rome, GA
Occupation
Middle School Teacher for 6-8th Graders Gifted in Mathematics
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH while in college, after experiencing shortness of breath while climbing the stairs of her college dorm.
Hobbies include reading, going to concerts, and the beach. She is also a big Jimmy Buffett fan.
Quote
“Remodulin helped me get some resemblance of my life back.”

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Profile picture for user Sattyn
Name
Sattyn
Age Range
30-39
Location
Woodhaven, NY
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Speaks Spanish as a second language.
Quote
“I was able to become strong again because I had people next to me telling me they loved me and to keep fighting. You just can’t do this alone. You have to have support.”

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Profile picture for user Wendy
Name
Wendy
Age Range
40–49
Location
Shirley, NY
Diagnosis Date
Administration
IV
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after experiencing symptoms since 2005 while pregnant with her twin daughters.
Speaks Spanish as her first language and enjoys leading and participating in Zumba classes.
Quote
“As a mom with PAH, I had to learn to take care of myself first so that I could take care of everybody else that I loved.”

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Profile picture for user Bethany
Name
Bethany
Age Range
30-39
Location
Carlton, OR
Occupation
IT Specialist
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Diagnosed with PAH days after giving birth to her son.

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Profile picture for user Beverly
Name
Beverly
Age Range
60+
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Occupation
Retired Medical Billing Clerk
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Diagnosed with PAH following increased difficulty breathing and heart palpitations.
Enjoys gardening, reading, and home remodeling.
Quote
“We are not alone.”

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Profile picture for user Denise
Name
Denise
Age Range
40–49
Location
Fairfield, IL
Occupation
Office Administrator
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Diagnosed with PAH following a dramatic series of medical issues.
Hobbies include walking her dog, fishing, Facebook and watching soap operas

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Profile picture for user Errin
Name
Errin
Age Range
40–49
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after experiencing symptoms, including sudden weight gain, six months beforehand.
Hobbies include swimming, biking, and walking

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Profile picture for user Joanne
Name
Joanne
Age Range
50-59
Location
North Babylon, NY
Occupation
Retired
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Diagnosed with PAH after experiencing cardiopulmonary symptoms like tachycardia, palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Founded the Long Island Support Group in 1999 and has been a member of the Board of Trustees.
Quote
“I have gained significant medical knowledge, had many speaking engagements, and embraced the role of lobbyist and advocate for people with PAH. I am proud to say I organized and participated in a race in New York that is to become an annual affair.”

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Profile picture for user Laurie P.
Name
Laurie P.
Age Range
40–49
Location
Blanchard, MI
Occupation
Works in Sales
Diagnosis Date
Administration
SC
Background
Began experiencing shortness of breath at age 26, and doctors suspected she had a hole in her heart. After further testing, she was diagnosed with PAH.
Hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and shopping
Quote
“If you do the Remodulin SC, it hurts, but you can get past that.”

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Profile picture for user Karen F.
Name
Karen F.
Age Range
50-59
Location
Johnston, IA
Occupation
Former IT Director
Diagnosis Date
Background
Began experiencing difficulty breathing, especially when flying for work. It took doctors 10 years to diagnose her with PAH and she has been a member of PHA since her diagnosis
Quote
“When I talked to a mentor, there was an immediate connection. I felt we had similar things going on and that helped me feel not alone and not like giving up.”

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Profile picture for user Marla
Name
Marla
Age Range
40–49
Location
Temple Terrace, FL
Occupation
Speech Language Pathologist
Diagnosis Date
Background
Switched between several treatments until starting on Tyvaso in January 2010. Is a strong advocate for Tyvaso and feels it fits into her life.
Quote
“If a PEER Mentee calls in, they can ask as many or as few questions as they want, and I will try to support them and help them as much as I can.”

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