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I'm Aware That I'm Rare: Jenn Lalonde

Canadian pulmonary hypertension patient, Jenn Lalonde discusses her road to diagnosis, the need for PH awareness and how she is using writing as a therapeutic tool that not only benefits her but others as well. 


I’m Jenn Lalonde and I’m from Ontario, Canada.

I was diagnosed in 2003. I was probably sick two years prior to that and diagnosed pretty quickly in the hospital, thankfully. After that two years though, I was absolutely relieved to put a name to this disease. For the two years prior I was constantly breaking down and what is wrong with me and why am I, I can’t go up two stairs without having to sit down and take a break. This is not right, this is not asthma. In the center I go to I have an amazing specialist and he’s really involved in PH and I live in a small city.

There’s no support groups anywhere near so I found this girl and to know that we were both suffering from PH, it was just crazy because I didn’t think I would ever meet anyone so it was huge. We need to know, like breathlessness, it could be something more than just asthma or just simply breathlessness. It’s incredibly important, I think. I hand out my fliers and stuff and I just, word of mouth, you know. I write blogs and stuff and have people read what I go through and I’ve been writing since I was sick, since 2003. It’s helped me a lot and I’ve had other, a lot of other patients come to me and say that they love my writing because I’m so open and I don’t like sugarcoat basically.

It helps them a lot they’ve told me, which always is a good feeling, right? It’s both therapy for me for sure, that’s what I go to to get my feelings out and it just, after I write something it’s like a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I just feel so much better and then to know that it helps other people of course. I love that, so for both. I’m still kicking 13 years later.

I’m Jenn Lalonde and I’m aware that I’m rare.

Listen to “I’m Aware That I’m Rare: the phaware™ podcast” at Learn more about pulmonary hypertension at #phaware