By: Amanda Washek
My name is Amanda and I am alive because of organ donation. At age 23, I was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a disease that causes scarring and blockage of the liver’s bile ducts. I went from a seemingly healthy, newlywed, young woman to needing a liver transplant in the span of a few months due to PSC. My symptoms presented suddenly in the form of jaundice, debilitating fatigue, itching, and pain – to name a few.
I was listed for transplant, but because my lab numbers did not show me as “sick enough,” I never climbed the list. My doctor soon delivered the news that I would never receive “the call” if I kept waiting; I would die first. He insisted that I consider living donation. It is not widely known that a portion of the liver can be donated and that both the donor and the recipient’s half will regenerate to full size. It is truly a remarkable procedure that is gaining traction in the transplant world.
I was humbled to have several people inquire about donating to me, and fortunately, the first person to be tested was a match! Madalyn, a beautiful friend of mine, donated 65% of her liver to me on August 11, 2015. It has been two years since our surgery and while it has not been without bumps in the road, I am abundantly blessed. I am healthy and strong again, and Madalyn recovered beautifully as well.
Strides are made daily in finding a cure for PSC and one of the most well-known and admired of the research organizations is PSC Partners Seeking a Cure. If you’d like to learn more about PSC and how you can help, please see their website: www.pscpartners.org
You can learn more about me and my story at my blog: www.lattesandlivers.wordpress.com