LIVEr Champion

2019 Presenting Sponsor, LIVEr Champion

Darioush ‘David’ Badakhshan 

David, whose birth name is Darioush, came to the United States from Iran in June 1972 and he’s never looked back. It was here that he got married 35 years ago and raised his two children, daughter Tammira, 30, and son Auria, 26, and became the proud grandfather of two-year-old Leland.

But in 2015, he became sick. After weeks of hospitalizations, doctors determined that he needed a liver transplant. But David wasn’t ready to take that step yet. Unfortunately, his condition continued to worsen and at the end of 2017 his daughter took him to a local hospital where he went into a coma caused by the damage inflicted by his liver disease.

After weeks of failing to improve he was transferred to MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute where he was cared for by our team of doctors, nurses and support staff until he was well enough to be listed for transplant. On June 8th, 2018, David successfully received a life-saving liver transplant.

He recently wrote us this letter of thanks:

“The help and the exceptionally high level of patient care that I received at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is beyond my ability to explain. Never have I felt so loved and cared for in my entire life. These heroes gave me a second life and I am forever grateful. I want to thank all living donors and those donors who are deceased for providing the ultimate sacrifice to allow for true miracle to happen for people in need of a transplant like me.” 

Because of his life-transforming experience as a transplant recipient, David has been inspired to be an advocate for organ donation. He now spends a great deal of time and provides support for many “Donate Life” efforts to encourage people to become organ donors.

2019 Local LIVEr Champions

Barbara Pitts

Barb’s Story:

Back in 1998 I suddenly developed horrible itching.  My doctor sent me to a Gastro who determined something was wrong with my liver.  My LFTs were off the charts and my cholesterol soared to 1870, the highest ever recorded at Johns Hopkins.  I was placed on the transplant list in 2001.  My numbers improved, yet 18 years, three Hepatologists and hundreds of tests later, we still don’t know what liver disease I have.  I stayed pretty healthy for years, but took a downward spin in 2016, suffering ascites and varices.  I also have MS and Diabetes but have always had a positive attitude and have far more good days than bad.  My MELD score remains too low for a transplant, but with great doctors, lots of meds and God’s blessings, I’m still doing well.

I’ve participated in every Liver Walk since they began in DC in 1999.  If I was sick, I still asked for donations.  When we didn’t have one in DC, I created my own.  To date, I’ve raised over $45,000 for the ALF.  I’ll do whatever I can to support liver research.  Luckily, I am blessed with wonderful friends who support me emotionally, spiritually and financially.  I’m planning on sticking around for a while!

Abigail Faye

Written by Abigail’s mom, Mamie:

On December 19th, 2014, Abigail Faye Williams was born at 5:30 am.  As first-time parents, we were elated to have been blessed with a new addition to our family.  After her first two days of life, questions began to arise concerning her health.  Her bilirubin was incredibly high, but none of the doctors could figure out why.  After two weeks of testing, it was decided that Abigail see a specialist to better determine a course of action.  Two months later, she was diagnosed with biliary atresia for which she underwent the Kasai procedure.  Turns out that her common bile ducts were too small to allow her body to release toxins.  In time, the bile backed up into her system and created cirrhosis of the liver.

At 10 months old on Thursday, October 15th, 2015, Abigail received a portion of a liver from a living donor, whom took a semester off from college to save our daughter’s life. The road to recovery after her surgery was quite challenging and long, including a month-long stint in intensive care (ICU). In all, Abigail spent almost a year in and out the hospital recovering from the liver transplant. However, today, Abigail is our amazing four-year-old girl that makes her presence known wherever she goes.  She has an infectious smile and welcomes challenges. She loves Paw Patrol and enjoys watching Boss Baby. While we call her a “miracle baby”, Abigail has been a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with.

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