(from the National Foundation for Transplants)
Transplantation is often described as a miracle.
It certainly has been for me. My family and I have used that term to describe my experience for the past 21 years since I was blessed to receive a liver transplant. Despite being so sick that the doctors predicted I had fewer than seven days to live, a blood type that limited compatible organs, and an immune system sensitized by autoimmune disease and multiple blood transfusions, I survived. Knowing that 21 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant we approach each day since with incredible gratitude. I have always tried to live in a manner that would honor this gift, this miracle, whether by exercising, managing my medications, cultivating kindness and empathy, or changing the focus of my career to healthcare.
In the two decades since my own transplant, I have found that there is still an enormous need to call attention to all the hard work that goes into making these miracles happen. We need to raise awareness of the demand for more organ donations. We need to rally more support for families, such as that provided by the inspiring staff of the National Foundation for Transplants. We also need to increase the application of new technologies to help patients understand and navigate through the transplant system, and to better aggregate and analyze data to help patients optimize their health for years after transplant.
In short, I want to make miracles more likely for more people more consistently. This is the motivation that drove the founding of the Global Liver Institute several months ago. I conceived The Global Liver Institute as an innovation and collaboration platform to (1) change the culture around liver health and diseases, including normalizing organ donation; (2) enlarge the number and type of organizations, companies, and individuals who see liver issues and transplantation as “their issue”; and (3) redesign health systems to better serve patients.
Please join me by supporting the work of the National Foundation for Transplants and the Global Liver Institute. We welcome everyone from artists to entrepreneurs, from moms to medical officers to lend us your insights in how to prevent the need for transplants when possible and improve the transplant experience when needed. Together we can make miracles more likely.
Donna R Cryer, JD is the Founder and President of The Global Liver Institute, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. Our Vision is for liver health to take its place on the global public health agenda commensurate with its prevalence and impact. Our Mission is to improve the effectiveness of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver diseases. Please learn more about us at www.GlobalLiver.org.