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The mission of the Second Chance for Life Foundation (SCFLF) is to help individuals and their caregivers navigate the challenges that come with receiving a heart transplant or a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) at the University of Minnesota medical facilities.  We strive to support patients through some of life’s most difficult times—mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.

Share and Care
We support patients through difficult times – mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.

Second Chance for Life Foundation is led by a group of heart transplant patients, LVAD patients and caregivers who recognize the need for support. We understand the difficulties before and after transplant and want to help! We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all volunteer organization managed by patients for patients. 

The Second Chance for Life Foundation membership community includes:

  • Heart Transplant or LVAD recipients of all ages

  • Those in advanced heart failure waiting for a heart transplant or LVAD

  • Caregivers and family members of those with or waiting for a heart transplant or LVAD

  • Friends of heart transplant or LVAD device patients

  • Donor families

A Transplant Home
We assist in providing emergency temporary housing and transportation for heart transplant or LVAD patients in need who are affiliated with the University of Minnesota Medical Center or University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.


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1986 SCFLF Was first conceived

The Second Chance for Life Foundation was first conceived in 1986 by William Holden, heart #80 and Joseph Keating, heart #81, who supported each other while waiting for their respective heart transplants.


Life in Photos


The Foundation supports its members through the following programs:

  • Patient to Patient Relationships

    • We support patients in the hospital. All Second Chance hospital visitors are accredited through the Mended Hearts Visitor training program and are members of the M Health Fairview Volunteer program.

    • We support patients and caregivers at home. Whether the time before hospitalization for a transplant or implant through time at home afterward while recuperating Second Chance members provide phone support for patients and caregivers

  • University of Minnesota Medical Center Heart Transplant and LVAD Support Groups

    • Participating in these twice weekly support groups these meetings are facilitated by trained social workers and include patients, caregivers, families, and friends.

  • Educational Programs Servicing the Unique Needs of Patients and Families

    • Living with a heart transplant or LVAD presents unique challenges. Annual in-person educational seminars are offered and complimented with periodic on-line sessions to support the educational needs of patients and caregivers.

  • Financial Assistance Grants to Help During Heart Transplant​ or LVAD Implant

    • SCFLF provides modest financial assistance to help patient families. Needs-based requests are privately vetted and can help with the cost of temporary housing and other unexpected needs that can arise during extended hospitalization and recovery.

  • Celebration!

    • Celebrating our gift of life is an integral part of Second Chance for Life Foundation. We hold periodic celebrations to commemorate key transplant/implant milestones and anniversaries along with honor volunteerism. An annual holiday party, periodic picnics & socials along with our annual golf tournament are held. The golf tournament is also one of our annual largest fundraisers.



Cheryl Lachelt became a board member of SCFLF in 2021.  She was first introduced to SCFLF in 2018 when she received an LVAD at UMMC.



Nancy Senst is a registered nurse who has been involved in organ donation and transplantation for more than 30 years.



Mark Corless became a board member of SCFLF in 2021.  He received an LVAD as destination therapy at UMMC in October 2020.  


 Arlene Forrest became active in SCFLF after her husband, Brad, received a heart transplant at UMMC in 2017. 



Jane Johnson first became involved with SCFLF in 2018 when her adult son, Matt, spent nine months as an inpatient at UMMC awaiting a new heart.

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Ken joined our Board in December 2023.  He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2006 after receiving cancer treatments.


Our Team



Component manufacturer of the HeartMate 3 and supporter of Second Chance for Life Foundation.

The Mended Hearts

The world’s largest heart patient peer to peer support organization and alliance partner of Second Chance for Life Foundation.


Manufacturer of the HeartMate 3 LVAD and other heart failure therapies.

Fairview Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacy supporting the needs of heart transplant and LVAD patients.

Caring Bridge

CaringBridge is a free online platform that helps people facing a health journey stay connected with their loved ones through health updates, photos, videos, and messages of support.

M Health

M Health Fairview Heart Care is a team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, advanced practitioners, nurses, and healthcare professionals committed to providing lifesaving care to people with heart disease.

Pediatric Home Services

At Home medical care for pediatric patients.

Donate Life America

Donate Life America is dedicated to driving increasing organ, eye, and tissue donation through promoting donation awareness and education about living donation.

My LVAD is a website that provides information, support, and resources for people living with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and their caregivers.


UNOS manages the national organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.

Camp Odayin

Camp Odayin provides fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families.

Sewn For You

A local seamstress retailer that specializes in adaptive clothing like LVAD apparel and supporter of Second Chance for Life Foundation.

Life Source

LifeSource is the organ procurement organization (OPO) that serves the upper midwest. It works with hospitals and other partners to coordinate organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation.

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