Passionate About Saving Lungs and Lives: Meet @llwortman
Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
JOHN: @llwortman, what brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?
@llwortman: I began reading Connect upon recommendation from a Mayo Clinic employee. The rest is history.
JOHN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@llwortman: My passion is to save lungs and more lives. My lung cancer journey started out as the most shocking event of my life, especially since I never smoked. Little information was available, other than “If you smoke, you get lung cancer,” and “Survival rate is 15 percent.”
That was 10 years ago. I felt advocacy would be the only way to increase awareness about lung cancer. As a lung cancer patient — who never smoked — and survivor, I am comfortable sharing any of my lung cancer experiences to help give people hope, because lung cancer has come a long way in my 10 years of experience.
JOHN: What groups do you participate in?
JOHN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?
@llwortman: Meeting @burrkay (Bill) on Connect led to a very special friendship and an event. Bill cares for his wife who has lung cancer. We first met online in the Lung Cancer group. When he heard about my TEDx talk, he asked if I might be willing to come to his hometown to speak at a lung cancer awareness event, along with two Mayo Clinic experts who Skyped their presentations. Because of Connect, I met not only Bill, but also his wife, Kay. An amazing friendship has transpired, because we understand the need for advocating and uniting with one voice to fight lung cancer, even though we are 3,000 miles apart.
JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@llwortman: I meet a lot of people through my foundation and the events we host to support funding for lung cancer research, such as the Longitudinal Healthy Lungs Research Project with Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic. So many people I meet just want to meet other lung cancer survivors like them. I love that I can give hope and support online now, too. It keeps me connected between events.
JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@llwortman: My family, and my passion to be healthy and get out and keep moving. My remarkable husband keeps me balanced…when he’s not moving at 208 mph upside down in a race car! And my guardian angels who continue to guide us through harrowing experiences. Grandchildren, also, are great at keeping us balanced!
JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@llwortman: Some of my favorites include running 5K and 10K races, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, our annual Danube River Bicycle Challenge lung cancer fundraiser, listening to Andrea Bocelli, hugs and being with my husband. I also love raising lung health and lung cancer awareness, people watching, listening, meditating and reading Dr. Amit Sood’s books.
JOHN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@llwortman: If you can dream it, you can become it. Just live it!
JOHN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
@llwortman: Friends — wow — they are always there, no matter what.
JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?
@llwortman: Chocolate: any shape or size, or hot in milk.
JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
@llwortman: Angelina Jolie (my husband would be George Clooney). Ha!
JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?
@llwortman: In Minnesota, the “Minnesota nice” attitude there and great medical doctors at Mayo Clinic the best! In Montana, the Rockies and the beauty of nature where you belong outside!
JOHN: Puppies or kittens?
@llwortman: Maine Coon cats — Lucy and Lotus!