MAY IS ASIAN AMERICAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER (AAPI) HERITAGE MONTH
Meet Justin Chiu – proud member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and the West Coast Co-Chair of ALF’s Young Leadership Council (YLC).
Justin became involved with ALF in 2017 when he ran the Boston Marathon® with Team ALF. Justin said, “Liver disease has affected my family greatly. When I was three years old, my father suddenly passed away from Hepatitis B (HBV), leaving my mother to single-handedly raise me and my older sister. My senior year of college, I decided to run the Boston Marathon® on Team ALF and fundraise for the organization. I was amazed by the tight-knit community and inspired by the stories of others who had been similarly affected by liver disease. Following my graduation, I continued to look for ways to volunteer with the organization.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, members of the AAPI community are most affected by HBV. While they make up just 5% of the U.S. population, AAPI people represent half of all Americans living with HBV. Justin said, “Through my involvement with the ALF, I learned that my family story is not unique – in fact, HBV infections disproportionately affect Asian Americans, with 1 in 12 chronically affected. Generations of hard-working AAPI immigrants with limited access to healthcare have led to a significant number of Asian Americans who have not been screened. That is why education and advocacy is paramount to eradicating liver disease.”
ALF is dedicated to educating Americans about their risk for liver disease through various resources, programs and outreach efforts. We are also dedicated to amplifying the voices of liver patients, families and caregivers through advocacy and special community building events such as the Liver Life Walk.
Justin currently works as an investor at a venture capital firm based in the Bay Area and plans to pursue his MBA at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University this fall. He said, “As co-chair of the YLC, I hope to foster a community of talented and ambitious young professionals that will find ways to get involved and use their unique skills to further the mission of ALF.” When he is not working or coming up with new goals and expansion plans for ALF’s YLC, Justin enjoys playing basketball, skiing, scuba diving and refining his skills as an aspiring landscape and travel photographer.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. For more information about liver disease, the AAPI community or our growing YLC, please visit our website.