As part of CKF’s Patient Ambassador Program, our Patient Ambassador Webinar Series is a way to reach a wider audience and to ensure we’re connecting with this audience (viewers and supporters, like you!) in a safe, efficient way.
With the deadly COVID-19 pandemic of the last year, the topic of respiratory illness has never been more pertinent. However, for the thousands of people across the United States who receive a lung transplant each year, lung health and safety is already their number one priority. Compared to the six other types of organs for transplant, lungs are unique: they are the only internal organs that are constantly exposed to the external environment. This makes lung transplant even more challenging and maintaining the health of your lungs post-transplant is key.
This month, CKF is hosting a Living Life Through Lung Transplant webinar, where we’ll be speaking with medical experts and lung transplant recipients who have dealt with the horrors of lung disease firsthand, gone through the process of receiving new lungs, and are using their lifesaving gifts to do incredible things. Topics covered in this webinar will include:
Gavin Maitland is a lung transplant recipient, avid athlete, and published author. After developing severe breathing difficulties in his mid-thirties, Gavin was diagnosed with a rare lung condition called idiopathic pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis. He required a lifesaving lung transplant due to the extensive scarring in his lungs brought on by the disease.
Given a second chance at life, Gavin decided to take on the athletic challenge of swimming from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore five years after his transplant, to celebrate his escape from lung disease. He continues to swim competitively, including the Lady Liberty Swim in New York Harbor and the Bridge-to-Bridge swim in Oakland Bridge Bay. In 2018, Gavin published a book, Swimming Through Adversity, that recounts his inspiring journey through lung transplant. Gavin continues to donate proceeds of his book to Duke University Hospital’s lung transplant research program and to organizations that support lung research and increasing organ donation awareness.
Samantha Rick is a two-time double-lung transplant recipient and 2018 CKF Bounce Back Give Back Award winner. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at age 3, but kept her lungs healthy through her late 20s. When she was 31 years old, she underwent her first double-lung transplant. She developed chronic rejection five years later and received her second double-lung transplant in 2017. Right before her second transplant, Samantha began working as a case manager for the Alternative Sentencing Program under the Plumas County District Attorney’s Office, helping adults in the criminal justice system transition back into society—a job she still holds today.
As a volunteer with her local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapter, Samantha has met with California state representatives and legislators on matters related to CF and the state’s healthcare programming. She is a mentor for the Lung Transplant Foundation and a peer mentor for the CF Foundation’s peer connect program. Samantha is also an avid mountain and road biker, rock climber, and snowboarder. She has won numerous climbing competitions and is an active member of Rock CF, a nonprofit centered on leading healthy lifestyles with CF. She has completed the CF Foundation’s 15-mile Cycle for Life bike ride, the 33-mile Bear Growl Gravel Grinder mountain bike race, and the 100-mile Breathe Bike Trek, in support of clean air, lung health, and smoking cessation programs.
Jeff Goldstein earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Florida. He’s currently the CEO of Energy Squared and was previously the president of Contract Resources, Inc. Jeff has served the Lung Transplant Foundation in many capacities— fundraising director, vice president, president elect, and he is currently president. He’s also a former board member of The Transplant Foundation in Miami.
Jeff is a council member of the American Thoracic Society Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR); a consumer reviewer for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDRMP); a member of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) Heart and Lung Subcommittee and a Donate Life Ambassador. In 2016, he served as a patient representative at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Division of Intramural Research (DIR) Clinical Trial Design for Diagnostic Genomic Testing in Organ Transplantation: From Bench-to-Bedside; and as a panelist for the FDA-sponsored Public Meeting on Patient-Focused Drug Development for Patients Who Have Received a Transplant.
Jeff was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and received a double lung transplant at Duke University Medical Center in July 2003. He lives in Miami with his wife, Martha, and enjoys fishing, traveling and his involvement with the foundation.