Tara Callahan, who leads a Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) support group, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) in July 2009. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Plains, a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania near Wilkes-Barre. Before her diagnosis, she was an inventory control clerk for a Lowe’s distribution center.

By Tara Callahan

We currently have nine members in the Northeast Pennsylvania Support Group. We unfortunately lost one of our members last month, and another moved away to be closer to family.

My motivation to become a PHA support group leader didn’t come until 2013 after meeting Andrea Vomero, the former leader of our group. She sadly lost her battle with PH far too early.

When I first attended her meeting, not knowing much about PH, she welcomed me with open arms. I was scared since I was starting IV medicine and oxygen therapy. I no longer felt alone. I had someone to talk to who understood PH and what I was going through. I want to do that for others.

I have made very good friends through PHA support groups, before and after I became a leader. It’s because we listen to one another, understand one another and help each other out when needed.

I am proud to help PH community members who feel alone in this fight and to educate them. PH can be a lot to take in, and that’s what the group is here to help with. I am very inspired by my entire support group. We all try to stay positive, look toward the future and support anyone who feels down or defeated.

Apply to become a support group leader.

Find a meeting.

Thanks to Janssen Pharmaceuticals for sponsoring PHA’s peer support program.