Friday, January 11, 2013

Liver Break

We interrupt your regularly scheduled horse-related blog post to make a public service announcement about livers. As in, your internal organ, responsible for detoxification and other important bodily processes.

Every year over 1000 people die waiting to receive a liver transplant.

And my Uncle Warren is NOT going to be one of them, due to the amazing selflessness of my little sister Leah.

Two days ago I got the news that my little sister (she's only 24) has been medically cleared and matched to donate her liver to our uncle, who has a degenerative liver condition. He's been on the transplant list for a while, but unfortunately liver disease has a lower priority than liver cancer, so his chances of getting a cadaver organ are low. Over the holidays my sister flew to Pittsburgh to get the tests done to check a match. Only one in three candidates clear the tests to donate. It was reviewed by a panel of physicians, and they gave the green light. The surgery is scheduled for February 14th.

Live liver transplant is a major invasive surgery for both people. About 60% of Leah's liver will be given to our uncle, and both halves will grow back to approximately full size in just 2 months.

Both will have to stay in Pittsburgh for surgery and aftercare (about 3 weeks) and may have to fly back for follow up visits as well. Leah has to drop out of school for the semester to do this. My uncle and aunt as well as Leah and at least one of our parents will be taking off work to fly out for the surgery and aftercare. Health insurance helps to cover the actual surgery/hospital fees, but everything else (all flights, hotels, food, etc) is out of pocket. To help cover the costs, we are having a fundraising raffle. The drawing will be on Feb 10th, my uncle's birthday, and the winner will receive $1,000. Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20.

Please keep both my sister and uncle in your thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. And if you are able, please consider buying a raffle ticket at

Leah Schulman
 It is a rare person who volunteers to fly across the country to get poked and prodded by doctors and undergo tests, and chooses to go under the knife to give away part of an organ, completely putting the rest of her life on hold for several weeks. Please send my sister Leah and my Uncle Warren your happy vibes for good health!


  1. How awesome of your sister!!!! I will donate and share with others!

  2. Your sister is a true inspiration. Good luck to them both with the surgery.

  3. That is really wonderful of your sister, happy thoughts sent their way!

  4. That's incredible! You must be so proud of your sister.