Leslie K

November 18 is my liver-versary. On that date in 2015, I received the gift of life in the form of a gently used liver from a courageous stranger who has become my hero. Just one year prior, I was diagnosed with PBC. It was a disease unknown to me, but on my crash course to learning all I could I realized that I’d had symptoms for most of my 55 years. As I child I bruised so often my mother had me tested for leukemia. I had terrible itching and was advised to skip bubble baths and use all unscented soaps and paper products. What I thought was a year-round tan was hyper-pigmentation. And the fatigue was surely from stress, aging and menopause. But it wasn’t until I had difficulty recovering from a respiratory infection and turned yellow that we began a deep dive into what was wrong. I was fortunate to have a smart team of doctors who ran the right tests and got me in to see the right specialist. While I tried URSO, I was already stage 4 and my decline was rapid. After 3 months in hospital and with just a few days left in my transplantation window, my angel donor and a fantastic team of medical professionals gave me life. I am passionate about paying it forward by encouraging registration to be an organ, blood and tissue donor, and by educating & supporting others in a similar situation.”