One Day at a Time: Kenneth Meek
Hello, my name is Kenneth Meek. In 2011, I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. At that time, I was a full time artist, enjoying the joy of what I loved to do. That fall, I suffered three silent heart attacks, two at my job, and one while out with my wife one evening. When the doctors locally ran multiple tests and procedures, they were able to find that I indeed had PH. They referred me to the University of Michigan to maintain ongoing care under Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin. Dr. McLaughlin was known as one of the top doctors in the field, and still is to this day. She is awesome!
This disease changed my life. Unfortunately, I was pretty severe when I was diagnosed. I became permanently disabled, leaving not only my passion in my past, but the bills to my wife’s income alone. It took some adjustment for both of us and was financially challenging at times. We were so thankful that we got back on our feet, and I was able to learn how to live my life with a chronic condition. Life through a wrench in it all two years ago as well when I found out I had liver cancer as well. The one good thought was that I knew I could trust the doctors at U of M and continue both treatments there.
This year, when the pandemic happened, we, like I am sure most, had a new way of life on top of the already big changes we had faced through the years. My PH didn’t stop and decide to limit my doctor visits. We made our regularly scheduled appointments for check ups and tests. One thing I know, the pandemic taught me how I needed to learn how to take things one day at a time.
My wife learned the same thing. Her company had to furlough her for a time and then brought her back after things were set in place with an organized plan. We struggled financially with some of the bills coming in and waiting on unemployment. Mentally, it was worrisome hoping that she would have a job to return to, as the bills never end and neither do the doctor visits for me.
We continued making our trips to Ann Arbor, planning down to the penny to make sure we had the money for gas and car repairs if needed. Thankfully, my wife’s job brought her back, and we were so grateful to have that security.
Speaking of grateful, we are more than grateful for Team Phenomenal Hope! We read the story of how they have helped people all around the country who are struggling with PH financially through their Unmet Needs Patient Impact Fund. We are encouraged, inspired, and thankful for such an amazing organization and group of people who care enough to support those with PH and their financial obligations.
This assistance I received from the Unmet Needs Fund could not have come at a better time! With the holiday season upon us, we were hoping to have a chance to catch up on our expenses. Thanks to Team PH, we will be able to start that process again.
With the support of our God, Team PH, and those who support them, we say thank you! SO VERY MUCH!
Kenneth received COVID-19 relief funds from the Team PHenomenal Hope Unmet Needs Patient Impact Fund. Learn more about how this fund supports PH patients at teamph.org/unmetneeds.