In my case, this diagnosis was preventable

ALF volunteer and liver transplant recipient, Daniel Romero, can’t stress the importance of liver health and liver disease prevention enough.

Family Ties

In 2012, while Daniel was busy taking care of his mother, diagnosed with fatty liver disease, he too was diagnosed with fatty liver disease and diabetes. Daniel said, “While my mother and I had been given the tools and resources we needed to help slow our disease progression, my mother’s condition worsened and she developed liver cancer. Unable to receive a liver transplant because of her age, all I could do was help manage her symptoms. Caring for my mother and watching her suffer took an enormous toll on me and as a result, I let my own health take a backseat.”

Too Little, Too Late

Daniel said, “When my mother passed away in 2013, I attempted to take back control of my health. I watched the food I ate, monitored my sodium intake and drank 96 ounces of water daily. Despite my efforts, the damage was done and in 2018, at just 56 years old, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. In my case, this diagnosis was preventable, but because I was so consumed with my mother’s care, I chose not to follow the advice of medical professionals and made zero changes to my lifestyle. The disease affected everything in my life from energy, mood, thoughts and bodily functions and eventually, my only chance for survival was a liver transplant.”

The rise in obesity and diabetes in the U.S. is fueling a little understood yet life-threatening disease known as fatty liver disease, which affects an estimated 80-100 million people. ALF’s nationwide public health initiative, Think Liver Think Life™  aims to ensure every American understands their risk for liver disease, receives the appropriate screening and care coordination and feels well-informed and supported throughout their liver journey.  

On January 3rd, 2020, Daniel received a second chance at life through a successful liver transplant. Daniel said, “After my mother’s death, I encouraged everyone in my family to have their liver enzymes checked. Since then, I’ve lost three cousins to liver disease, another is currently on the liver transplant waitlist, and four of my siblings have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease. As a country of leisure, addictions to processed, fatty foods, lack of exercise and nutritional education, we must remain diligent about our health. Make sure you go for routine medical checkups and have our liver enzymes assessed annually – it could save your life.”

Are You at Risk?

If you have obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you are at risk for liver cancer. Join ALF and Meijer Specialty Pharmacy on Thursday, September 24th at 2:00 pm ET for, At Risk for Liver Cancer? Prevent the Progression, a one-hour virtual educational webinar focused on preventing the progression of liver cancer, including a liver Q&A with expert speakers knowledgeable on topics such as diet and nutrition, exercise and more.

Donate today to help ALF raise public awareness of liver disease and the importance of prevention and early detection. To learn more about liver disease and how to prevent the progression, visit liverfoundation.org.

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