Have you been told that you had to stop doing your passion in life because of your rare disease?
This is the story of opera lover, Charity Tillemann-Dick. Her life that reads remarkably similar to that of a grand opera plot. Charity was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension when she was just 20 years old.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare disease that causes high blood pressure in the lungs, leading the pulmonary arteries to thicken and harden over time. In Charity’s case, this led to her heart swelling to three times its normal size. To learn more about this condition, click here.
While Charity’s opera career was flourishing, her body was deteriorating. Finally, in 2009, she underwent a life-saving lung transplant at the age of 26.
Two months later, Charity could finally breathe on her own again, but only with a small hint of a voice. She still began singing again, every day.
Unfortunately, we are only at the intermission of Charity’s screenplay, because three years after this, her body rejected the lungs.
She thought that this must have been the end, and after making peace with her family and God, she received a call from the director of the Heart Lung Transplant Program. They had discovered a new match.
Today, Charity is still singing and living every day to the fullest. Even though the risk of chronic rejection will always loom overhead, she just keeps going.
The encore to Charity’s life? Last fall, Charity even performed at the Cleveland Clinic with the donor’s daughter, and her friend, Esperanza Tufani.
In this case, Charity’s donor not only gives her life, but gives her voice.
To learn more about Charity’s grand opera that is her life, click this link here.