I am honored to once again be running for the American Liver Foundation, this time, only half the distance! Why liver? Well, I have a very close personal and professional connection to liver disease. My mother passed away in 2005 from alcohol related liver disease. This was difficult for so many reasons, with one of them being that as a nurse, I was also caring for so many patients with the same type of liver disease. I have now been a nurse for over 16 years and I have continued to care for so many patients with liver disease. One of my most memorable patients is someone that I cared for in the ICU who received a liver transplant and I am now honored to call my friend. My own friends and their families have been affected by liver disease. To try and connect something positive to my experiences with liver disease, I ran the 2015 Boston Marathon as a member of the ALF. That carried over to 2016, 2017, and 2018 and I ended up raising over $27,000 during those 4 years. This past summer, I started a new position as a pre liver transplant nurse coordinator. Do you notice a theme here?
This year my patient match is the Fiore Family. Claudia was born in December 2008 with biliary atresia. At 9 weeks old, she underwent a Kasai procedure. Despite her liver disease, Claudia loved to dance, loved Disney World, and was a model student. In December 2017, Claudia was placed on the liver transplant waiting list and on July 3, 2018, her family received the call they had been waiting for. The transplant was a success. A week later, Claudia was already home, watching Disney movies and recovering with her family. Unfortunately, Claudia had a sudden turn for the worse and on July 16, 2018 her battle with liver disease came to an end.
Liver disease and the people it affects are near and dear to me. I am committed to helping in the fight against liver disease by raising as much money as I can so that some day, no other family has to experience what Claudia, the Fiore Family and everyone who has been affected by liver disease experiences. That is why I am asking for your support in the fight against liver disease, raising awareness, ending the stigma and most importantly, ending the waitlist.