In 2014, while training for a charity half marathon I became severely ill and was unable to run that race.
On June 3rd, 2015 I was given the gift of life. I had an autoimmune disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), which is chronic inflammation of the bile ducts that progresses to liver failure and cancer. After years of monitoring and managing symptoms, then undergoing emergency surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and an arduous wait on the transplant list, I received a liver transplant for treatment of cholangiocarcinoma, a.k.a bile duct cancer. While waiting on the transplant list, I tried to focus on the things I wanted to do when I got my new liver. Among them was to run a half marathon one day.
Thanks to my organ donor and his or her family, I am healthy enough to run the 2017 NYRR NYC Half Marathon in support of the American Liver Foundation (ALF).
Although I have been through life-threatening illness, I consider myself fortunate. It was early, I survived the wait for an organ donation, and I survived the two of the biggest abdominal surgeries that exist. An effective treatment for PSC that avoids liver transplant still has not been found. The ALF mission includes research to develop treatments, but also seeks to advocate, educate and provide support for people, like me, affected by liver disease.
I RUN BECAUSE I CAN FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T.
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