Allan and Amanda Patterson are the Oklahoma City Liver Life Walk Chairs. Spreading awareness about liver disease is something they are extremely passionate about and that hits close to home for them. Please read their story below.
Our journey started in March 2016. That’s when the patriarch of our family and my father, Christopher Gipson, started showing signs of liver disease. We were on our way to Disney World to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary when the trip was nearly derailed my dad falling ill. With a mix of ignorance and stubbornness, he powered through the vacation and we made memories to last a lifetime.
When we came back from vacation expecting dad to make a full recovery is when the words “liver disease” became a steady part of my vocabulary. Just over a year later and after many doctors’ appointments filled with hope along with a few very scary episodes, dad passed away on May 17th, 2017. It’s shocking to write that sentence. Even more so when I think about how it all happened so fast and with no warning whatsoever. How could someone so young and so full of life be gone just like that
Suddenly, liver disease was no longer an unfamiliar concept and I began reading story after story of people just like my daddy. Somewhere in the blur that’s been the last year, I joined the Liver Life Walk in Kansas City, MO. It was cathartic to be around people who have been through the same struggles with some who lost loved ones along the way. As people, we need a sense of belonging. We need to be surrounded by a community of people who we can celebrate victories with and find comfort in defeat. And that’s just what I’ve found with The Liver Life Walk. It’s such an honor to be able to share that with the people of Oklahoma City. I hope to hear your story and walk alongside you this September.