The Circle of Hope (COH) Transplant Support Program connects LAM patients who are considering lung transplantation with those who have undergone the procedure, as well as with experts in the field. COH offers one-on-one guidance, group support, and education throughout the lung transplantation process.
We are excited to bring together and strengthen our LAM transplant community. One-on-one matches are made based on location, age, interests, needs, and availability. The program also offers online educational webinars and support groups as well as in-person gatherings at LAMPOSIUM and some REGIONAL MEETINGS.
To get started with our COH program, please COMPLETE THIS SHORT PARTICIPATION FORM that will be used to help us make the best possible mentor match for you.
Dan Dilling, MD, LAM Clinic Director at Loyola Medicine, serves as the Circle of Hope Medical Director. Dr. Dilling facilitates connections with transplant centers across the country, providing support and advice to patients and helping to educate patients on the transplant process.
Sharlene Dunn, a LAM patient who received a lung transplant in 2010, is the Circle of Hope Program Coordinator. Sharlene finds and supports women with LAM who are seeking evaluation for transplant, coordinates mentor pairings, and facilitates the support group.
Karen Kinsey, Patientplus
"The Circle of Hope is a natural extension of The LAM Foundation's well-honed LAM Liaison Program. These two programs offer support, guidance and understanding to Lammies by fellow Lammies, dedicated LAM researchers and The LAM Foundation.
The Circle of Hope Program has helped me face many of the uncertainties associated with lung transplantation. The post-transplant LAM mentors are remarkably knowledgeable resources, who offer guidance as well as abundant compassion and understanding. In addition, the COH Medical Director has been incredibly responsive and insightful. Before, I felt like I was the quarterback of all the decisions concerning my transplant. Now, I know I have several coaches that I can rely on.
I am grateful for the resources The LAM Foundation has committed to the COH Program. The assistance the COH Program has provided me has been invaluable. My hope is that one day, I will be able to give back to the COH Program."
Zaria Benedict, Patientplus
“The opportunity to call a LAM sister after transplant is priceless! We understand each other in ways no one else can. I am forever grateful for my mentor! I got advice, information and encouragement I could not have gotten anywhere else. Truly priceless!
This was also an amazing opportunity to donate my old lungs for LAM research. Knowing that my lungs were used for LAM research at several centers gives me great joy and hope. What a blessing to give back and help find a cure!”
Karyn Schad, Mentorplus
“I have worked with Therapy dogs in many settings and feel it prepared me to work with people. I signed up to be part of the Circle of Hope so that others would not feel alone, as I did, when going through evaluation and then transplant.”
Denny Walker, Caregiverplus
“The LAM Foundation’s Circle of Hope program is a very helpful group. The Circle of Hope has informative testimonials that I feel help not only patients with concerns of this rare disease and transplant, but are also very helpful to the caregivers (like myself) in finding answers and information.
We're very fortunate to have you and your willingness to help, and your story, as it's definitely an important part of our journey to lean on you. With our progress, and your uplifting experience, we got this, thanks be to God. Thank you to the Circle of Hope and The LAM Foundation. God bless each and every one of you.”
A resource offered by The LAM Foundation, the Circle of Hope Transplant Support Program was established in 2018. The program connects LAM patients who are considering lung transplantation with those who have undergone the procedure, as well as with experts in the field.
Program Coordinator Sharlene Dunn shares her own journey to transplantation, the story behind the Circle of Hope, and the many inspirations she has found along the way.
What was it like for you to go through the lung transplantation process?
My transplant journey began in 2003, about seven years before I officially listed for transplant. My pulmonologist had encouraged me to go through the evaluation process and list for transplant. At that time, rank on the waiting list was determined by length of time spent on the list, rather than by the Lung Allocation Score (LAS) in place today.