How spring, a time of rebirth, illustrates my transplant journey

The promise of new life brings hope and gratitude to this columnist

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by Lara Govendo |

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I resonate with springtime on a soul level. The hint of warmth in the air, the daffodil buds popping up, and the overall sense of renewal bring me such joy. Spring reminds me of my own rebirth I experienced after my double-lung transplant five years ago. With new lungs, I have a fresh perspective on life and am able to do so much more.

As we approach a seasonal shift, my excitement builds. Because I live in Vermont, I get to experience drastic changes between the seasons. After a long winter, I’m ready for some warmth and newness.

Like the seasons, cystic fibrosis (CF) has brought many changes to my health and lifestyle. When I hit college, I started getting sicker. Hospitalizations became a part of my routine, but I didn’t slow down. After graduation, I jumped into my career as a therapist and worked myself nearly to death. Respiratory failure hit me hard and brought my employment to a screeching halt as I waited for a double-lung transplant. This post-transplant season has enabled me to plan for the future and dream about things I never imagined would be possible.

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Because I’m thriving

The concept of rebirth is also reminiscent of my transplant journey. Years ago, I was dying due to CF, and being chained to an oxygen tank left me on the sidelines, unable to participate in many activities. Now, I’m living with strong and healthy lungs that permit me to be active.

Before transplant, I had to shelve my dreams to focus on simply staying alive, but today, my heart holds so many dreams, and I’ve already seen several of them come to fruition because I’m thriving.

Prior to transplant, I wasn’t able to stay outside in colder temperatures because I couldn’t breathe the cold air. It would sting my lungs and throw me into a coughing fit, making it hard to catch my breath. I avoided going outside during winter and spring.

With new lungs, it’s a miracle to enjoy being outside year-round. I can breathe in the crisp air and stop to notice the green and yellow buds popping up through the snow. Going for a hike on my favorite mountain, where wildflowers fill the forest and beams of sunshine warm my face, is a gift. I get to pause and appreciate the beauty all around me that fills my soul. It’s a way for me to honor God’s creation and my donor’s gift. Reflecting on my own rebirth grants me a deeper appreciation for life.

Spring also sparks thoughts about gardening, reminding me that seeds need to be buried and nurtured before they can push through the dirt and blossom. Likewise, my own journey of growth has required careful cultivation. Watching both plants and myself grow awakens me to fresh possibilities and opportunities.

It just makes sense that the first day of spring this year happens to land on the International Day of Happiness.

Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.


Gisele Lapointe. avatar

Gisele Lapointe.

So happy for you. Keep on striving.


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