Hello! My name is Serena.

I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012, where I earned an honors BA in Fine Arts, along with a specialization in Teaching Preparation and a minor in Art History. I used to refer to this as having a degree in 'unicorn magic' because it was very difficult to get a real job considering my education. After a lot of hard work, I finally got my first real job. I was managing an office where I had attended university. I was saving up to move out and find a place of my own. It felt like things were finally going my way.

There is an old proverb about how God laughs when we make plans. If this is true I must be a comedian. Four months after I began my first grown up job I started to develop shortness of breath doing very routine things, such as going up a flight of stairs. This was very unusual for me because I was very active, and had a fitness routine that I followed daily. My symptoms began to grow very aggressively and quickly.

I was diagnosed with stage 3-4 Pulmonary Hypertension just three months after first showing my first and very slight symptoms. I was diagnosed a few days before the Christmas of 2013, and I had to have my right heart catheter done on Christmas Eve (see what I mean about being a comedian?) I was in severe right sided heart failure, and was immediately put on supplementary oxygen. I was originally told that I had 5 to 10 years to live. (I guess we will see what happens.) I was 25 years old.

After diagnosis I found it very difficult to find a 'safe place' for people with PH. I know how serious the disease is, but I really wanted to find a light at the end of the tunnel. I so desperately needed to hear something hopeful and encouraging. I was tired of reading over and over again the same bad news that the doctors have already given me. I joined online support groups and started to talk to more and more long-term survivors, and exceptional people with PH. Some of whom had a pretty good quality of life considering how debilitating PH can be. I thought to myself 'why isn't this information available?' This thought lead to the creation of The PHight or Flight Project. I originally started the blog in hopes of sharing these exceptional stories in a segment called PHighter Friday.

Recently, I have started to branch out and write more personal posts. PH can feel very isolating because it is a rare disease. I wanted to help lend a voice to young adults who are facing PH in hopes of offering support, and perhaps a sense of friendship. I look forward to writing more about wellness, health, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and PH related issues and topics in the future. I want to be able to discuss the issues that I face with PH, but believe it is important to integrate other parts of my identity as well.

You can see what I have been up to by following me @worshipshipandtribute on Instagram.

xo Serena


  1. Love it Serena. You are right to have created this and it is very courageous of you.