Author Archives: Colleen Steele

My Son Dreamed Big, and Make-A-Wish Made it Happen

In 2008, my 8-year-old son was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Being told that Cullen had an incurable, life-threatening illness was traumatic. It was impossible to imagine that there would be happy days following that news. That year, two wish granters from the Make-A-Wish Foundation visited Cullen at home.

How to Keep PH From Ruining Halloween Fun

My inner child awakens every fall. As the foliage starts to change into its glorious colors, I go to work decorating my home. And while sipping pumpkin spice latte, I think about what costume I will wear to this year’s party. On Halloween, you will find me on my porch,…

Tips on Organizing PH Supplies at Home

Change is inevitable when you or a loved one is diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH). There will be physical, emotional, and social adjustments. And one day you will notice that your home has been unexpectedly redecorated. Boxes of medical supplies will take over tables, drawers, and cabinets. Trash cans…

My Son’s Friendship Was Not Defined by PH

My son Cullen was excited to tell me he’d made a friend on his first day of kindergarten. Fifteen years later, he and Keenan remain best friends. Cullen’s battle with pulmonary hypertension (PH) might have challenged their friendship, but it never came close to impacting their bond. Cullen was…

The Therapeutic Benefits of Owning a Pet

My son was 8 years old when he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Children are supposed to be nurtured, but the attention showered on a child living with a life-threatening disease can begin to feel smothering. For the five years my son battled PH, I greeted him each…

How to Advocate for Your PH Child’s Education

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) has a ripple effect on family life. A diagnosis is like a pebble tossed into water, its weight disrupting the calm with waves of change. My advice is to wade through those ripples and rescue some normalcy. It might take time to calm the waters, but…

The ‘Healthy’ Sibling’s Struggles with PH

The siblings of medically frail children grow up fast because they witness harsh realities at an early age. They experience emergencies, hospital stays, medical equipment, and scary treatments, and have no choice but to comply with a long list of limitations, sacrifices, and challenges. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) turned the…

My Son’s Transplant Fundraiser Helped to Build a Community

Two positives came out of my son’s pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosis: It strengthened my belief in the power of prayer and rekindled my faith in people. My family has personally witnessed the kindness and generosity of both family and friends and complete strangers. People wanted to know how they could…