ONE WORD EVOKING BOTH FEAR AND HOPE: TRANSPLANT
In January 2017, Anne was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. Over the next two months, she experienced several hospitalizations, multiple side effects and of course, tremendous worry. By April, Anne’s MELD score qualified her to be placed on the transplant wait list – but – unfortunately, her uphill battle didn’t end there.
TIME WAS NOT ON HER SIDE
Anne didn’t have time to wait for a deceased donor, which can take up to five years. On average, three people die every day waiting for a liver transplant. Anne’s only chance at survival was finding a living liver donor. In May, her daughter, Katie applied to be her match. After a month of rigorous testing, Katie found out she was indeed a match and on June 15, 2017, donated 60% of her liver to save her mother’s life. Unlike all other organs in the body, the liver can regenerate itself and a few months after surgery, both Anne’s and Katie’s livers grew back to full size. They both currently live productive, healthy lives.
FAST FACTS ABOUT LIVING-DONOR LIVER TRANSPLANTS
- Living donor liver transplant offers an alternative to waiting for a deceased donor liver
- During surgery, up to 60% of the donor’s liver is removed
- The liver begins to regrow almost immediately
- According to UNOS, living donor transplants in 2021 increased 14% over 2020
OVERWHELMED WITH GRATITUDE
In recovery, Anne was so overwhelmed with gratitude for her daughter, medical team and a second chance at life that she knew she needed to give back and pay it forward. Anne and her husband, Mike are active members of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) in Illinois serving on the local Board of Directors and have been fierce advocates and leaders for the Chicago liver community since 2018. Anne said, “our family has made fundraising for ALF a top priority. In just three short years, we’ve raised over $50,000.” Anne continues to advocate for liver patients nationwide and often shares her story with lawmakers in support of critical legislature like the Living Donor Protection Act. Anne said, “ALF has certainly provided me with a way to give back and for that, I am truly grateful.”
We are truly grateful for you, Anne! Thank you for sharing your passion and dedication with ALF and the entire liver community. Your unwavering commitment to raising awareness around liver disease and living donor liver transplantation is inspirational.
April is National Organ Donation Awareness month. For more information about organ donation or living donor liver transplant, visit our comprehensive Living Donor Liver Transplant Information Center. To hear more of Anne’s story, click HERE.
Last Updated on April 5, 2022
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