Team Name: Jess’s Lucky Livers
In June 2014 at the age of 30, Jess was diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cholangitis after several months of worsening fatigue and itching. PBC is an autoimmune disease where the small bile ducts in the liver are attacked and start stiffening up, which can lead to scarring or fibrosis of the liver. Jess started on ursodiol but did not respond to the medication. By November 2014, her gastroenterologist referred her to a transplant center and hepatologist. Luckily after meeting with transplant teams at Vanderbilt and IU Health she was assured she had some time before needing a transplant and that new medications were coming out soon that would help. During the Spring of 2015, her hepatologist at IU recommended she join a research study for people with PBC for a new medication coming out. Jess met all the criteria for the study and was enrolled. While at IU Health she saw an advertisement for the American Liver Foundation Liver Life Walk and decided to sign up.