An Opportunity for Education About This Vital Organ

This year’s theme is, “keep your liver healthy and disease-free.”

Today marks World Liver Day, and this year’s theme is, “keep your liver healthy and disease-free.” So, where do people begin? This aligns nicely with the idea of awareness and education about this vital organ.

Tragically ignored for decades, the liver contains thousands of microscopic cells performing miracles 24/7 converting everything we eat and supporting body parts and functions like “energy” we use each day.

Your help is sorely needed to promote including understandable liver information in schools, government agencies, the military and especially in the proposed plan to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis by providing the rationale for protecting the life-supporting liver. Absent in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Awareness campaigns is liver education.

What You Need to Know

The liver, a vital organ responsible for numerous bodily functions, has been tragically overlooked in terms of education and awareness.

Excessive alcohol consumption poses a significant threat to liver health, with even moderate intake potentially causing damage to liver cells. Educating individuals about the risks associated with alcohol abuse is crucial in addressing the ongoing epidemic of alcohol-related liver diseases.

The tragic experience of witnessing a loved one suffer from liver-related complications serves as a powerful motivator for advocacy and education.

These “energy” producing liver cells, however, can be damaged by the toxins in alcohol that destroy their ability to create energy if people have more than 2 drinks a day. This new information motivated them to modify their drinking habits sorely needed to address the ongoing, epidemic of alcohol abuse.

Ignorance about the liver—now for decades—has tragic unaddressed consequences. Millions of Americans have missed out on liver information in schools and government supported programs, that continues unabated today. People are becoming sick and dying due to numerous chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, as well as unrecognized and unreported liver diseases such as viral hepatitis with the various strains.

A Personal Story
As a nurse, I watched my infant son, Dean, suffer daily coping with the devastating, misunderstood consequences of cirrhosis, only seen in alcoholics 6 decades ago. With no diagnostic tools available, surgery at 2 weeks of age discovered the absence of bile ducts in his liver. With no answers, no treatment, or hope for his survival, I was totally helpless watching my baby suffer with the unreported, unexpected traumatic consequences of cirrhosis for 4 heartbreaking years.

Dean was sleep deprived due to constantly itching his jaundiced skin. In fact, a tiny scratch on his ear in his sleep created an unexpected hemorrhage. Something woke me to find his head in a pool of blood. When he took his first baby step, he fell and broke his hip. A few weeks after his recovery, he broke his other hip. Trapped in a body cast itching inside the cast was sheer torture. All these unexpected traumatic experiences due to cirrhosis remain unreported in current literature.

Through Tragedy Came the Formation of the Liver Health Initiative
When Dean lost his heartbreaking battle with cirrhosis, I began creating and promoting understandable and memorable education for all ages and ethnicities. Collaborating with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for several exciting and productive years, millions of uninformed surprised grantees learned for the first time about the importance of their internal unrecognized powerhouse their liver—and ways to protect it.

I eventually developed the Liver Health Initiative as a way to develop education and build relationships with lawmakers, educational institutions, and the general public.

As we think about World Liver Day today, the future health of our children, their parents depend on knowing why and how to take care of the liver. Please add your voice to ours and ask ourCongressional representatives to require understandable liver information in schools, including universities to educate teachers about the unrecognized, miraculous life-sustaining liver.

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