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Jim Stempel is both a patient and an avid patient advocate. Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois and now splits his time between the Chicago suburbs and New York, where his three adult children reside. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from Chicago-Kent School of Law, where he was valedictorian. Jim retired in 2021, after a 32-year career as a corporate restructuring attorney at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago. Jim was diagnosed with scleroderma (including interstitial lung disease) in 2010 and underwent a successful left lung transplant in 2018. Since then, Jim has been very active in patient support and mentoring both for scleroderma and lung transplant patients. He currently co-facilitates two support groups:  (1) Scleroderma & The Lungs under the umbrella of the Scleroderma Chicago Chapter; and (2) 20% Scleroderma Support Group for Men under the umbrella of the Scleroderma National Foundation. For five years, Jim has been mentoring, among other lung transplant candidates and patients, scleroderma patients with interstitial lung disease. Jim's fundraising efforts include patient education and financing for Northwestern Medicine's  Canning Thoracic Institute. Jim has also commenced developing a lung transplant division of the non-profit organization "Transplant Village."