Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick

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Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick is a soprano, composer and presenter. A recipient of two double lung transplants, she speaks and performs frequently at concerts, conferences and events around the United States.


A full lyric coloratura soprano, Charity Tillemann-Dick has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia in venues as diverse as The Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City; The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio; The National Symphony Hall in Budapest, Hungary; the American Embassy in Beijing, China; and the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. She has collaborated or performed with noted conductors and musicians including Bruno Rigacci, Joella Jones, Marvin Hamlisch, Bono, Zoltán Kocsis, Joan Dornemann, Éva Marton, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[1][2] Some of her operatic roles include Titania in A Mid Summer's Night Dream, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La traviata, and Ophelia in Ophelia Forever. Charity has also performed for numerous presidents, prime ministers, members of Congress and world dignitaries.[3]

Health & Advocacy[edit]

After receiving a diagnosis of idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension in 2004, Charity served as the national spokesperson for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. In December 2005, she testified about Pulmonary Hypertension before the U.S. Congress' Committee on Energy and Commerce.[4] For her efforts, she was named a Glamour Hero that year.

In September 2009, Charity received a double lung transplant at the Cleveland Clinic. Just eight months later, she performed before the doctors, nurses, and support staff at the Clinic.[5][6][7][8] She has since become a vocal advocate for organ donation and transplantation research in the United States. After complications from rejection, Charity received a second double lung transplant in January 2012.


Since receiving her transplant, Charity has presented at numerous conferences and events, including the Chicago Ideas Week, TEDMED,[9][10] TEDxMidAtlantic;[11] and the 6th Annual National Conference on Organ Donation.

She is a frequent presenter and performer for corporate events, nonprofits and associations, and civic organizations. She has been featured on the CBS Morning Show,[12] CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta,[13],[14] The Washington Post[15] and BBC Radio.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Charity was born in Denver, CO. She is the fifth of eleven children.[17] She received a bachelor's degree with high honors from Regis University and studied music at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.,[citation needed] where she was also a Fulbright Scholar.

Charity is the granddaughter of Congressman Tom Lantos, the former Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Tillemann-Dick's paternal grandmother, Nancy Dick, served as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. In April 2008, Charity's father, Timber Dick, a successful inventor and businessman from Denver, died from injuries received in car accident.[18] She is a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[19]


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