PHA Board of Trustees
Generation Hope Young Adult Advisory Board Member, Online College Instructor,
and Owner, “Little Hands Big Ideas”
New Hartford, Conn.
Board term ending: January 2014 (first term)
Colleen Brunetti was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension on January 2, 2008 after a trip to the Emergency Room for unrelated symptoms. Since then she has been under the care of a PH Specialist and on a variety of treatments. Colleen lives in Connecticut with her husband of 10 years, Brett, and their son, Aidan, who will enter Kindergarten in 2011.
Colleen’s view on Pulmonary Hypertension is two-fold. The first is to choose to live life fully and purposefully, despite illness, and possible limitations. Secondly, if there is an expectation of a cure, then the individual members of the PH community must have an active hand and voice in making that happen. To that end, in 2010 Colleen agreed to join the Generation Hope Advisory Board through PHA. In this capacity she collaborates on young adult specific programming with PHA and works to networks with other young adult patients to exchange ideas and information often unique to the demographic: school, work, relationships, young families, etc. Colleen also participates in other PH related activities, such as serving as a PEER Mentor and writing a blog.
Professionally Colleen worked as a public school teacher for seven years. Shortly after diagnosis she left the classroom to spend more time with her young son and to attend to her health needs. She now works as an online college instructor for the Community College of Vermont. She also owns her own educational business, Little Hands, Big Ideas, which specializes in American Sign Language instruction for kids, caregivers and teachers.