Lynn Bastian serves as the leader of the  Chicago South Side Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) Support Group. In this story, she describes her journey from a newly diagnosed individual with pulmonary hypertension (PH) to taking an active role in the PH community.

“I was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in 2005. I didn’t attend my first PHA support group meeting until 2008. I was invited to the Elmhurst Support Group by a fellow church member who was also a patient and had been attending the support group for a while. My daughter, Leah, started to come with me,” she recalls.

From there she learned about PHA on the Road, a locally focused education event that brings together the local PH community and experts for a day of education and connection.

“That was my first big introduction to what PHA offers to patients and their families. It was energizing to meet so many other PHers and to attend the breakout sessions. This encouraged us to get more involved.”

From there, Lynn’s involvement grew. She volunteered for PHA fundraising events and then attended PHA’s International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions in Indianapolis in 2014.

“That was an experience we would never forget and encouraged me to get more involved locally, mainly by raising awareness to my family, friends and coworkers.”

The conference inspired her to take the next step in her journey.

“The Chicago South Side Group…needed someone to step up to help lead the support group. I was encouraged by the group members to lead the group. After attending PHA’s conference, we were so pumped up that I decided to do it!”

Lynn continues to lead the group and help build a tight knit community within the group. “It has been a challenge and a blessing to see them come together as PHriends and PHamily,” she says.