How Mentorship Helped Me Through the Process of My Lung Transplant

Note from Ella at CF Roundtable: We wanted to let all of our readers know that the upcoming issue will be all about organ transplants! It is full of information from pre and post transplant experiences by those of us with CF. Personally, I am very much looking forward to reading these stories as I have been just recently told I am in the “window” for transplant. It’s terrifying and joyous and a mixture of everything in between. I also will be signing up for this mentorship program because I want talk to those who have been through it! Thank you to the Lung Transplant Foundation for this perfect blog introduction to our next issue.

By Eirik Gumeny

Receiving a lung transplant can be an isolating experience, and no one should have to go through that alone. Mentorship programs are an excellent way to help.

When my wife and I started our journey towards my double lung transplant in 2014, we found ourselves overwhelmed and slightly adrift. We’d been to the orientations and met with the doctors, but something seemed like it was still missing, something we weren’t quite able to put our fingers on.

In hindsight, the answer was simple: pamphlets and professionals are only one half of the transplant experience. Input from other patients is equally – if not more – important. Transplant patients need to know the technical stuff, the ins and outs, yes, but there are things that only someone who’s actually lived through a transplant can help you with, things that only another person in your same position can understand.

That’s where the Lung Transplant Foundation Mentorship program can help.

They were among the first institutions to implement a mentorship program for lung transplant patients, and they were the first to reach out to my wife and me.

Founded as a non-profit organization in 2009 by a group of lung transplant recipients, The Lung Transplant Foundation (LTF) has been raising funds and acting as an advocate for lung transplant research ever since. Nationally recognized, the LTF is a member of the American Thoracic Society’s PAR Council of Public Representatives, and, currently, the only national lung transplant organization that sits on this prestigious council.

Their Mentorship program provides education and emotional support for transplant recipients and their caregivers, via confidential, individualized, one-on-one support for people at all stages of lung transplantation through personal contact with a trained Mentor.

When it comes to receiving a lung transplant, having someone who intimately understands what you’re going through its crucial to the experience. Though mentors can’t – and shouldn’t – replace professional medical advice, just having someone to talk to, someone who has faced the same problems as you, can help immensely.

The Lung Transplant Foundation can be found online at, and you can find more information on their Mentorship program by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “How Mentorship Helped Me Through the Process of My Lung Transplant”

  1. In May of 2016 I received a double lung transplant with The Cleveland Clinic. In the fall of 2018 I was able to publish a book about my journey that has become a helpful resource to patients, caregivers and families around the nation and world. Can you help me spread information promoting the book?

    1. Hi Tim,
      Congratulations on your book. We do not promote books but rather will review a book in our newsletter, if it pertains to cystic fibrosis. I saw on your website that you had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. So, we cannot review your book for our publication.
      Thank you and best wishes.

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