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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Marathon Man
Seven Boston Marathon® races, one finish line marriage proposal and a fight against liver disease, are what make Run for Research team member Nick Giordano who he is today. Not only has he completed the most arduous race in the world multiple times, he has also learned that true love and good health are the key to a long and happy life.
In 2004, Nick was training for a marathon. He was also trying to catch up to a fellow teammate he wanted to meet. One night, while Nick was out with some running friends, he noticed the same mystery woman. After a brave hello he and Debbie became fast friends and instant training partners. Despite the cold and snowy Boston days and demanding training schedule, they fell in love. Nick initially joined Run For Research to honor his grandfather who died from liver disease; now he had one more reason to make the distance -- he wanted to surprise Debbie with a marriage proposal. The run was difficult for Nick; however, Debbie stuck with him for all 26.2 miles. As they crossed the finish line together, Nick fell to one sore knee and presented Debbie with a ring. Family members stood by to witness the moment, which was captured by Adidas in their Reasons to Run campaign.
Soon after their 2006 wedding, Nick’s life took another turn. During a routine physical, his primary care physician discovered elevated liver enzymes. A self-declared health nut, Nick was shocked by the diagnosis. Months of testing and a liver biopsy revealed that Nick was living with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). There are no medical or surgical treatments for fatty liver disease. Nick’s liver disease was discovered early enough so he can manage his symptoms through diet and exercise. He completed the 2008 Boston Marathon® with flying colors and raised over $4,000 to fight liver disease.
“My dedication to my health is a way of reminding myself of how blessed I am,” explains Nick. “I have a great family, a wonderful wife and am healthy enough to lace up my sneakers and run. Not everyone has that privilege,” says Nick.
Nick has continued to be an extremely active part of the Run for Research team, and was in the news earlier this year for his story of dedication, as he prepared for this 13th straight Boston Marathon. Click here to read the article about Nick's inspiration, Pearl, and click here to read a follow-up about his 2013 efforts.
Click here to read Nick's full story.