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Help Mike Galati Find a Liver Donor

by Anglers Media Team
Sunday, April 07, 2013

Help Mike Galati Find a Liver Donor
It is with great hope that the Chatham Anglers organization seeks the help of our amazing fan base to help one of our own in a time of need. Mike Galati (Chatham '94-95) is suffering from liver failure and is in search of a live liver transplant. We received this message from Mike's parents and wanted to share it with the extended Angler family.

It is with much fear and trepidation that we write this email. We are on a desperate mission to find our son, Michael a live liver donor. Michael has shown much courage as he fights though fatigue each day to live as best he can. His team of doctors tells us that he is a very sick individual and he is getting sicker every day. A live liver transplant is common treatment for patients with Michaels liver disease. Medical science has developed the procedure in which a portion of one persons healthy liver can replace another persons diseased liver and both donor and recipient can lead normal lives. The liver is an amazing organ; both sections will grow to full size very quickly and resume normal functioning. However, it is a tough task to find a matching donor as only 15-20% of donors are an exact match. Matthew, Michaels brother, recently completed an evaluation at Yale; unfortunately, he is not a match due to the anatomy of his liver. We have much faith in Michaels transplant surgeon, Dr. Emre, who is a world-renown surgeon whose picture has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Please help us find a donor for Michael.

Michael was first impacted by liver disease symptoms such as jaundice, weight loss, and extreme fatigue in grade nine. For a period of time Michael enjoyed normal health. But at age thirty the extreme fatigue returned, his health declined, and blood test results indicated an incurable disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Liver diseases are sneaky. Sufferers can appear normal while the disease erodes the liver and biliary tracts causing stress and damage to associated parts of the body. To outsiders, Michael appeared to lead a normal life, while every day fatigue sapped his energies and compromised his life.

The doctors told us that Michael needs a new liver now. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, or PSC, is a disease that can quickly and very dramatically change Michaels health status. A major concern for Michael is Choledoch Carcinoma. This common bile duct cancer has a high occurrence rate with PSC patients particularly when their MELD (Model End Stage Liver Disease) score is above 15. Michaels score is presently at 17. If the doctors were to discover cancer in his liver, Michael would be disqualified from ever receiving a live liver. Once he is no longer a candidate for a live liver transplant, his other option would be a cadaver liver. However, PSC does not mesh well with the MELD ranking system used for cadaver allocations. Although Michael is quite ill, his MELD score remains low. By the time his MELD score is high enough, he will be within days of death. You can help by forwarding this email to as many people as possible because Michael needs a live liver now. Therefore, the need for a live liver donor is urgent.

To find out more about being a living donor, individuals can call the Yale Transplantation Center at 1-866-925-3897. The initial call can simply serve as a fact-finding mission with no obligation or can be an initial screening. It is important to note that Michaels health insurance plan covers every cost for the donor and we will find a way to cover lost wages, transportation and any other expenses. Also, potential donors must be between ages 18-55, in good health, and not be obese or have a history of ongoing infections, drug or alcohol abuse. Yale will protect the anonymity of all prospective donors. If anyone wishes to contact us for any reason, we can be reached at 860-628-0279 or rg2331@cox.net.

Thank you,

Bob and Jan Galati