An anticipated 1,000 walkers are expected at the annual Liver Life Walk Puget Sound, on Saturday, June 29th at Magnuson Park. The Liver Life Walk is a fundraising and awareness campaign benefitting the American Liver Foundation, which works to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.
For the LIVEr Life Champion this year, the American Liver Foundation has chosen Seattle resident and University of Washington Student AmeenTabatabai. At 10 years old, Ameen was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a liver disease that causes inflammation and subsequent obstruction of bile ducts both inside and outside the liver. It is estimated that six in every 100,000 people in the United States have the illness.
While the diagnosis meant that he would one day need a liver transplant, Ameen worked to live a normal life. He stayed active with basketball as long as his symptoms allowed. As a freshman, he unfortunately added worsening health to the normal college worries, and it became apparent that the need for a new liver grew urgent. On December 20th, 2010, Ameen received the liver transplant that saved his life.
The road to healing was far from easy to tread in the beginning, but step-by-step he picked up speed. He returned to classes in fall of 2011 and because he would not be stopped, his hard work also returned his athletic prowess. Since the surgery, Ameen proudly completed two half-marathons, and is currently training for a third with UWMC Team Transplant.
Liver disease and liver transplantation have made a strong impact in Ameen’s life, inspiring him to join the biomedical field, where he can contribute to research and development that saves lives, like the others before him that made his medical treatment possible. In addition to playing an active role in undergraduate research with the Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound at UW's Applied Physics Lab, he also serves as a patient and family advisor on the transplant council at the University of Washington Medical Center, and works with LifeCenter Northwest and the Chris Klug Foundation as a volunteer/community advocate to help with future events and educates about organ donation awareness.
Ameen’s personal mission is to use his second chance at life to show others that liver disease and transplantation do not hold liver disease patients back from enjoying each day and accomplishing their dreams.
Registration and check-in on the day of the event begin at 9:00 a.m. Walkers have a choice between a one-mile and a three-mile route, with both starting at 10:00 a.m. The Liver Life Walk will conclude by approximately 11:30 a.m.
Walkers raising $100 or more will receive an official t-shirt. Other incentives include medals and day of walk recognition.
Teams and individuals may register for the event at the walk homepage: www.liverfoundation.org/walkpugetsound, or by calling the Liver Life Walk Office at 855-LiverWalk (855-548-3792).