Lara Govendo,  —

Lara, 33, resides in Vermont (for now) as a wild, adventure enthusiast who holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She writes about living out loud and develops educational programs to restore hope to those in need. Thanks to her double-lung transplant in 2017 due to cystic fibrosis, you can now find Lara traveling on the regular, exploring the glorious outdoors, and belly laughing with her loves. She’s passionate about connecting with like-minded people, so join her at www.laragovendo.com and on social media (“Lungs4Lovey”) while she flies by the seat of her (no) pants.

Articles by Lara Govendo

How a Blood Donor Saved My Life

Hearing the words “blood transfusion” still sends chills down my spine. The emotional response my entire body felt when I heard those words for the first time from a doctor is still traumatic. “I wasn’t supposed to get one of these,” I thought. I had just had a double-lung transplant…

Birthdays Are Bittersweet

Most people hate the attention birthdays bring. I get it. It’s only in recent years that the meaning of birthdays has shifted for me. Prior to my double-lung transplant three years ago, every year of life felt like a feat. Now, every birthday is icing on the cake — literally.

Holidays Are Complicated This Year

The holidays always seem to be a complex topic. Adding chronic illness to the mix makes them even more tense. And now the world is living through a pandemic, which adds a layer of ambiguity. Navigating uncertainty brings anxiety, but we have a choice in how we respond. Holiday…

Praising the Caregivers Who Helped Me Endure

If you told me 10 years ago that I would be reliant on my parents again, I would have laughed in your face. I was always proud about being independent, and I didn’t need anyone to help me — until I did. When I had my double-lung transplant three…

Respiratory Care Teams Are the MVPs of CF Care

As a person with cystic fibrosis, I’ve formed close-knit relationships with care providers in multiple disciplines. Before my double-lung transplant three years ago, I was hospitalized frequently. I would be hospitalized for a couple weeks, out for a few, and then back in again. So the cycle went. My…

True Story: I Got Fired for Being Sick

I remember what it felt like to get fired for being sick: that pit in the middle of my belly that caused my mouth to go dry, my voice to shake, and my face to flush with shame. Sitting around a table with multiple bosses, I couldn’t believe what I…

What to Do When Depression Strikes

What is that heaviness on my chest that feels like a ton of bricks, for which the only relief is bawling my eyes out? Ah yes, I remember you. The raw, real emotions that creep in the shadows of night, depression is a monstrous hitter. It knows how to…

How to Keep Your Growth Game Strong

September is Self-improvement Month. It’s a timely reminder to stay woke on my growth game. Stagnation is not an option for me. It often leads to complacency, which then leads to murdered dreams. With my new lease on life, I do not have the luxury of staying the…

Transplant Anniversaries Acknowledge Trauma and Triumph

Transplant anniversaries are hard for me. And they’re wonderful. They’re sad, then great again. Up, down, and all around seems to be the cycle of my emotions. These anniversaries affect my body, too. It’s as if I’m reliving the days leading up to my transplant all over again. I…

A Giant Win After a Big Loss

After a monstrous letdown, we need a win. Those of us with chronic illness need reminders to keep on keeping on. The glimmer of hope for better days is necessary to move forward. Rarely do we have a whole day that is good, so when we do, we cling…