I was indirectly affected by liver disease as my mother became ill in 2009 and the only option available was to be a live donor. Of course, like most people who live with such a disease, once it reaches a certain point you then make the list for a liver transplant and suddenly it seems as if a new journey has begun…
Upon finding out that I was a match in blood types for my mother I subjected myself to go through the process of being a liver donor. What this means in a nutshell is simply a piece of my liver could be taken from my body and given to my mother at which point in due time it will grow and develop itself into a healthier liver than the one she currently possessed, although it wouldn’t be a full sized liver.
As time progressed so did our journey as mother and son in our fight against liver disease. To be specific my mother lived with cirrhosis of the liver and autoimmune hepatitis. It seemed as though during this time the normal for us became seeing my mother in the hospital more than seeing her in our home.
For me this is where my process began. I watched my mother receive potassium, and blood transfusions on numerous occasions. I was taught that even in what appears to be the worst of times there is always something good to be taken away. It took me awhile to grasp this concept because slowly I saw my mother’s health decline. Eventually my mother became too sick for a transplant from an organ donor, and even from me, being a perfect match and all.
The one thing she taught me is trouble doesn’t last always and tough times only create tough people. After my mother’s unfortunate passing I decided that the best way I could make her proud was to simply give back to those in need just as someone had given to her. I began to do so by donating blood, after all, it was because someone else that I didn’t know took the initiative to be selfless that her life was prolonged as much as it was. I also began to learn more about the organization and their efforts of community outreach which prompted me to join a team and participate in a liver life walk event.
From there I met and shared my story with others who were both directly and indirectly affected by liver disease and were actively seeking avenues to create awareness in the fight. After placing two liver walks under my belt, I ventured off to experience the Flavors of LA culinary event where I became a sponsor.
Since then it has been my mission to not only please my mother, but help others in their fight as they have helped her in hers. I can say proudly that as a supporter of the ALF I have been blessed to feel at home and know that I am not alone in the fight against liver disease.
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