Charity Tillemann-Dick: Mormon Singer
Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick is a soprano and composer who overcame two double lung transplants and continues to perform. She is also a motivational speaker.
She was born in Denver, Colorado. Her father, Timber Dick, was a successful inventor and businessman. He died after a car accident. Her grandmother Nancy Dick served as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is also the granddaughter of Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress.
Tillemann-Dick received her bachelor’s degree with high honors from Regis University. She studied music at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.
She is a full lyric coloratura soprano. She has performed in concert halls throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia.
In 2004, she was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, a disease that causes the arteries in the lungs to harden, which forces the heart to work harder. In 2005, she became the national spokesperson for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association hoping to raise awareness, increase federal research funding, expand stem cell research, and promote preventative and alternative medicine. She testified before the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. Congress. In 2009, her disorder required a double lung transplant that she received at the Cleveland Clinic. After complications from rejection of the organs, she received a second double lung transplant in 2012.
Tillemann-Dick was able to perform just eight months after her first transplant. She has performed and spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Sixth Annual National Conference on Organ Donation. She has also appeared on the CBS Morning Show and CNN. She was featured on Ted.com, PBS, NPR, and BBC Radio.
She released her debut album, American Grace, in 2014 and it reached #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical charts.
She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband.