My Story

I would like to welcome you to Chronically Inspired - Life.Beyond.Disability, a lifestyle website dedicated to people living with chronic illness, disability, rare disease and mental health conditions, with a special interest in pulmonary hypertension. 

 

I have been living, dying, and surviving for over twelve years now with pulmonary hypertension a chronic progressive disease that has no cure.

As part of my ''new normal" I live with oxygen therapy and life saving medication that is administered through a continuous IV that goes directly into my heart. 

 

It’s been a journey peppered with trauma and challenges, but also one of incredible growth, deep wisdom, strength, and resilience.

After I had stabilised once finally diagnosed, I began to educate myself and find out about self help and support groups, so I could become a more informed patient and advocate for myself. This proved very difficult so I decided to become a member of the peak body for Self Help & Support in my state and commenced training to become a support group facilitator, set up a support group and then become an incorporated Charity. 

 

During this time I also completed my Certificate IV in Community Services to work in Allied Health, and continue to educate myself by also becoming a Certified Mental Health Educator for the WA Recovery College Alliance (which is a world-wide initiative to bring education to the community through co-design of the lived and learned experience).

 

I have grown to become a "Patient Expert" through my "Lived Experience" of 12 plus years, and I have added Consultant, Community Support Worker, and Editor-in-Chief to my recent list of achievements. 

In 2020 the world was shaken by the Covid Pandemic and everything changed for everyone. Many support services had to close down and people we relied upon disappeared. I knew things had to change to be more sustainable and cater to the new online lifestyle we had all found ourselves living. People were being forgotten and left behind... this wouldn't do, I had to be innovative and find a more inclusive way to interact and support people. 

And so it was around mid June 2020 that my creative mind once again took action and I began to develop a new approach called "Chronically Inspired - Life.Beyond.Disability". 

 

A new way to support my members began to emerge in an innovative way that would appeal to most people and be inclusive and entertaining, something we desperately needed at this time.

 

Our non-profit charity I was CEO of closed, but our incredible membership continued to support me and my work and we regrouped and reconnected through an inspirational seasonal lifestyle magazine, "HoneyBee", which gives a voice to those with chronic illness, disability and mental health conditions, their caregivers and the people who support us. 

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"Self-care is how
you take your power back."

The stories come directly from writers with a lived experience from many backgrounds including pulmonary hypertension, and we work together to bring our membership/readers interesting, inspiring articles that add value to their lives in a beautifully presented format. We could still connect while sharing knowledge, resources & information, but in a more exciting format, which like me is evolving and growing with every edition.  

Members became subscribers, we scaled back the face to face commitments and began a new journey of sharing, connecting and learning.  I evolved our support group into a more social support group called "The TasteBuds Club", where we socialise and gather together for fellowship, and great conversation over a lovely meal.

 

We network with many like minded people and have branched out into new areas that are rich and rewarding as we grow our membership.  I am supported by some amazing contributors and sponsors who help me to grow and stay balanced as I go through my own recovery of PTSD while living with my progressive condition Pulmonary Hypertension. 

When I started this journey in early 2020 I was broken and desperate and I thought all was lost. I am so grateful that I had the strength to keep going as I am now surrounded by amazing people and this enables me to do the work that I am so passionate and excited about.   Melissa x 

  • Achievements I am most proud of up to the year 2021
  • Completing training to become a Certified Mental Health Educator for WARCA.
  •  Completing Certificate IV Community Services in 2018, and having my final exam just weeks after near death in ICU.

  •   Building a Website, twice.

  • Learning how to create and publish a small magazine for the Australian Pulmonary Hypertension community. 

  • Forming lasting relationships and friendships with our amazing sponsors from my former organisation PHNA.

  • Spending quality time with very special individuals all living with, or caring for someone with pulmonary hypertension, and being able to help in some small way.

  • Reinventing myself into Chronically Inspired and creating a new website, social media platforms and magazine to support those living with both pulmonary hypertension, and chronic illness/conditions and mental health challenges. 

  • Finding Life Coach #Jackie Rowe from #Focus Coaching who has been an amazing mentor and been pivotal in helping me turn my life around after being diagnosed with PTSD. 

  • Being brave enough to turn up to the training for the #WA Recovery College Alliance and do their #Educators Foundation Program and then training to become an Educator for WARCA. 

  • Meeting some of the most courageous and kind people I have met in a long time, which enabled me to regain my confidence and add  to my skill set, opening up a world of possibilities... 

  • Learning about Self Care and making myself a priority. Being brave enough to pivot and adjust to life's curve balls and keep going!

  • Winning Awards for 

  • "Support Group and Self Help Champion" For founding, running and growing our pulmonary hypertension support group into a national network. From ConnectGroups Association 2015.

  • "The Tom Lantos Community Services Award" From the Pulmonary Hypertension Association USA.  PHNA were one of 12 International Winners in 2016. We created the first patient pack & resources for people living with pulmonary hypertension in Australia.

  • "Innovation Award" For creating the first educational patient pack for the pulmonary hypertension community in Australia. From ConnectGroups Association 2018.

  • "Community Services Health Consumer Award Finalist" For my work in the field of pulmonary hypertension. From the Health Consumer Council 2019.

  • Community Services Leaders Award" For outstanding contribution to the community, and who by example, exemplify community leadership.  2021 - From ConnectGroups WA.

  • Growing and Learning

  • Working with, and learning from some amazing people who I will love and cherish always. 

  • Learning to forgive myself and make my well-being a priority. 

  • Forgiving others, even when they weren't sorry

  • Starting over, again..to find my Y!

  • Being Brave & Never Giving Up!

  • Reinventing myself and branching out....

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Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

LinkedIn - Melissa Dumitru