BENEFITING: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
ORGANIZER: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
EVENT: 2018 Pittsburgh Marathon
EVENT DATE: May 06, 2018
In 2007 our beautiful niece & cousin, Alaina Janet, was born with a liver disease called Biliary Atresia. The cause is unknown and her only cure was a life saving liver transplant. After 15 months of failing to thrive, feeding tubes, and numerous liver infections, Alaina finally needed a new liver. Instead of watching her suffer for years on a transplant waiting list, Alaina’s father Arlen decided to donate part of his liver to her. Her parents knew the only place they wanted to be was Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. They do more pediatric liver transplants than anyone in the world and their success rates are the best.
Alaina was only 15 months old at the time of transplant and it was a very emotional & difficult time for our family. It was truly a miracle how her new liver immediately transformed Alaina. Just one day after transplant, Alaina's skin was not as jaundice and the whites of her eyes were no longer yellow! Two weeks later, her feeding tube was removed forever. Alaina had a healthy liver and she was finally thriving!
Here we are nearly 10 years since transplant. Alaina will be 11 on May 1st. She's doing great but had a tough year dealing with 2 episodes of liver rejection. After high doses of steroids, her liver responded well but the meds took a toll on her. Steroids have nasty side effects. Alaina also went through a major surgery last June. All of her abdominal muscles had split open so she had a piece of mesh placed to hold her muscles together. Her entire scar got reopened and she could not do any physical actitivites for 4 months. She was so brave and handled the unexpected long recovery like a superhero. You would never know looking at her what she's been through. Our family will forever be grateful to her wonderful team of doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital!
As for Arlen, Alaina's father and liver donor, he went through 6 surgeries since transplant from hernias, obstructions (2 in the last year) and an infection. He lost most of his stomach muscles through it all and will forever be restricted with certain physical activities. We are proud that Arlen will be running as part of our relay team in the marathon.
On May 6th, five members of our family will run as a Relay Team in the Pittsburgh Marathon to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. All of the money we raise will go towards transplant research to help kids like Alaina. No amount is too small and any donation is greatly appreciated!
It's truly an honor to help this exceptional hospital because they saved Alaina’s life and continue to make it better. Together we are helping Alaina & every other child benefit from the spectacular research and care at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh!
Dan Jageman, Arlen Janet, Keldon Spicher, Ben Dickinson, & Ian Jones