“Mentoring makes me feel good, and allowing me to pay it forward makes me feel even better. The feeling I get when I hear and actually feel the sigh of relief and comfort from my Mentee is priceless.”
–Teri Toro, Lung Transplant Recipient and Mentor
If you would like to be paired with a Mentor, please click the appropriate button below to complete the Request a Mentor form.
Please note: while our Mentors provide support, comfort and compassion, they are not medical professionals and cannot provide medical advice.
The Lung Transplant Foundation (LTF) Joseph J. Carter Mentorship Program connects transplant recipients and caregivers with trained volunteer Mentors who have gone through the lung transplant process themselves.
It provides an essential link between people living successfully following their transplant experience and those new or adjusting to life after a transplant.
Whether someone has lived with an illness for a long time or has been newly diagnosed with an end-stage lung disease, they may feel alone and uncertain about where to turn for help–especially when they learn that a lung transplant is required. There are many questions, such as:
- How does the Waiting List work?
- How do you prepare for a transplant?
- How do you build a support system?
- What can you expect after the transplant?
Our Mentors have compassionate, comprehensive and first-hand understanding of the lung-transplant process. They provide support and valuable information for pre-and post-transplant recipients and their caregivers.
The LTF Mentorship Program
- Is the only national lung transplant Mentorship Program created and administered by recipients
- Is a free service providing one-on-one communication between people living successfully after transplant and those who are new or adjusting to the transplant world
- Offers trained volunteer Mentors who are recipients and caregivers
- Matches Mentors and Mentees by commonalities–disease and gender
- Maintains strict confidentiality
- Are transplant recipients and caregivers who have a desire to help others through their transplant process
- Receive extensive training on listening and mentoring skills
- Support and guide other recipients and caregivers
- Offer a voice of reason and comfort
- Are willing to share their experiences compassionately from the point of view of either a recipient or caregiver
- Provide a bridge from uncertainty and fear to knowledge and empowerment
- Share their experiences, but never give medical advice
To provide confidential, compassionate, one-on-one support for lung transplant recipients and their caregivers at all stages of transplantation through personal contact with a trained Mentor.
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“During this journey as a caregiver, I had the opportunity to meet the most amazing patients and caregivers that demonstrated such strength and a will to live. It was humbling. Today, my journey continues as a Board Member for the Lung Transplant Foundation and most recently, I completed my training to become a Mentor for our new Mentor Program. I give credit to my daughter, Gina who always reached out to other CF and transplant patients during her journey. I am still Mentoring those families today because, with every step and breath, there is hope for a cure.”
—Reyna Kosla, whose daughter was a lung transplant recipient.
Joseph Carter’s Lasting Legacy
The Lung Transplant Foundation Mentorship Program is named in honor of Joseph (Joe) J. Carter. Joe envisioned this type of Mentorship program and hoped for the development of new procedures that would better ensure transplant success.
He was a well-respected attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who treated everyone with respect. Joe was able to perfectly balance his passion and commitment to his profession with his love and commitment to his family.
Joe died at age 38 from congenital lung failure before being listed for a transplant, leaving behind his son Zachary and his wife, Shari, who was pregnant with their second child. Shari, Zachary and Aiden, who was born two months after Joe’s death, are supporting the new Lung Transplant Foundation Joseph J. Carter Mentorship Program which connects new transplant recipients as well as their caregivers, with trained Mentors who have successfully gone through the transplantation process themselves.
This photo of Joe Carter with his family was lovingly created by his wife, Shari, and photographer Karin Martinez. It includes his sons Zachary (10) and Aiden (8), who was born 2 months after Joe died.
Joe left a lasting impression on everyone he came in contact with. Friends, colleagues, and even perfect strangers, would be greeted with a handshake, a smile and probably a joke. He was thoughtful, funny, and often described as charismatic and charming in both his personal and professional life. He had an incredible zest for life that would ignite those around him. He was able to make the best of any situation. He was appreciative for everything he had.
Joe remained true to his character even when he was struggling with serious medical issues and difficulty breathing. He never complained and never lost his sense of humor or love of life. Joe would go out of his way to help anyone. He searched for a program like this in his time of need. He would be honored to be a part of something that will help so many others. This program is a beautiful tribute to a life lost way too soon.
~ Shari Carter