Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Working for ALF these past 10 years has been a mission for me. I had NASH, I’ve had a transplant, and every time I am able to offer someone hope, I feel so good.
A lot of my day is taking calls on the ALF HELPLINE and training new employees and volunteers who we send out to represent ALF and provide patient education. I can give them a very personal perspective.
Weight has been a problem for me my whole life. As a teen I was diagnosed with Type 1, juvenile diabetes. By 21, I was well on my way to major medical problems. The terminology for NASH, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, wasn’t really in use when I was diagnosed at 25 with liver disease almost 40 years ago, but now NASH has become so prevalent.
I waited 5 years for a liver transplant, and finally had the surgery 15 years ago when I was in my early fifties. Recovery after the transplant wasn’t easy, but it was worth the struggle, and I consider myself lucky. Without it, I would not have been here to see my three daughters grow up and graduate from college.
So many people who call in every single day need practical and educational information. The team who answer the HELPLINE are not clinicians, but we help people to understand better what their doctor is telling them, give them helpful resources and help them get into a better state of mind. We refer people to the informative educational materials that ALF has produced, and we talk to them about how they can be proactive about adjusting their lifestyle to live a healthy life.
All my daughters have genetic factors that could lead to NASH, and like me, my daughter Juli has always had weight issues. I am so proud of the steps she has taken to radically change her lifestyle to manage her diet and exercise. She is an inspiration.
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