By Simone Balkenhol
“I am in a class to learn how to teach English as a foreign language because I can no longer work as a chemist in a lab. Obviously, that would be very hard on my lungs at this point, although that is what my education is. I enjoy language in general and have a basic competency in Spanish and have volunteered with foster kids in my community. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is very hard to live with, and I think that finding meaning is very important.
“I’m incredibly lucky to be able to travel without too much accommodation. My photo is from Wenceslas Square, Nov. 17, the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Prague, Czech Republic!
“It’s very hard to find hope and meaning with PH. It’s hard to walk upstairs, up hills and participate in past hobbies. The future is scary. Losing my job and my hobbies left me very isolated.
“I hope to find meaning in community service and in a job that allows me to contribute to society. Every day, I am very aware that I am so very lucky to be able to travel and to pursue my interests.”