Where are we now?
I like to ask myself that question about the Lung Transplant Foundation (LTF) every month if not more often. So let me share with you where we are now, and let you be the judge.
People are coming to know that we are not just about one transplant center, one disease or a group of doctors, but rather we mean to represent all of us who have experienced or who are “connected” to the lung transplant process. The LTF is being recognized as the only patient-centric organization dedicated to lung transplant recipients and to supporting research to improve their lives. Our efforts to raise awareness are being recognized throughout this “community” and is evidenced by a trend of which we are very proud.
I always find it humbling when the LTF receives a donation. It means we’ve reached someone and that they care enough to support our efforts. It’s inspiring and we are always grateful to every donor. But lately, we are experiencing a whole new era defined by the initiative of others to help support the LTF. We are seeing people who feel compelled enough by their experience with lung disease or transplantation to work on their own time to appeal to donors and raise funds on behalf of the LTF. There is Lucy of New York, who donates part of the money she raises through her Great Strides walk for cystic fibrosis and who, most recently, held an online Tastefully Simple party followed by a brunch.
Brianna Yoho, who was featured on our website (http://lungtransplantfoundation.org/powerlifter-puts-muscle-behind-ltf/), is a North Carolina high school student who thought of a most unique fundraising event to support the LTF, a powerlifting meet. And Gigi Guermont, a Floridian who was transplanted two years ago, held a fundraising boutique sale on our behalf and is co-hosting a dinner with me to introduce the Miami philanthropic community to the LTF. Additionally, Lonerider Brewing Company held its “Showdown” beer festival in March and donated a portion of its proceeds to our Foundation.
The way these funds are being raised is truly transformational. The LTF brand is building a higher profile, and precious research dollars are being raised on the Foundation’s behalf. We are even starting to get international inquiries.
I ask myself: Have we reached the tipping point? I don’t know, but I hope that what has begun will continue. It is incredibly gratifying to experience this as one of the LTF’s founding members. It is a confirmation that our years of investing hours and dollars are paying off.
How can we do even more? First, I encourage anyone who wants to experience the satisfaction of hosting a fundraising event to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lung Transplant Foundation will offer as much help to you as we can. Second, in our effort to connect to all transplant communities, I would like to encourage you to consider starting an LTF chapter in your area or to connect with a transplant program. If you are interested, we can help with that, too. In fact, I’ve just done so in my hometown of Miami. We have officially started the Lung Transplant Foundation of Florida chapter organization.
Join us in our efforts to build the LTF into a truly international organization representing lung transplant recipients. Come alongside us in our efforts to support research to find cures for post-lung transplant diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome to improve our lives.
With hope that I’ve inspired you to contact me tomorrow about a fundraising event, I will offer you one more challenge. Below is one of my favorite inspirational quotes. The first three readers to correctly identify the author by April 30 will receive a free LTF T-shirt from our online store.
The quote is: “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
It’s always a pleasure to share my thoughts and what’s happening at the LTF with you. If you wish to share anything with me or our Board please do so directly at the email address above.
Meantime, take care and best of health!