Life after transplant: Every day is a fresh start

ben after his liver transplant
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE FLEISHMAN FAMILY

Even though I had surgery to treat a serious liver disease when I was only 9 weeks old, I didn’t really think too much about my liver until about a few years ago, when I was in fifth grade. That was when my mom and dad told me that I would need a transplant. Learning that I needed to be on the waitlist for a new liver was probably the darkest moment of my life at that point — I felt as though the world was collapsing around me.

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6 ways to celebrate National Donate Life Month

Each year, during the month of April, National Donate Life Month draws attention to those who have saved and healed lives through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Here are six simple ways to participate, celebrate and educate.

No1
Become an organ donor.

phillips-donate-life

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Athlete’s mystery pain is low-grade glioma

Erin, who had surgery for a low-grade glioma, kicks a soccer ball during a game.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HOLMBERG FAMILY

It started with muscle aches in her shoulders, almost like spasms, while she slept. The pain was awful, and nothing seemed to bring relief. But because Erin Holmberg is a varsity three-sport athlete — soccer, basketball and track — everyone assumed it was muscular pain caused by overexertion.

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A gymnast gets her spring back

Mikayla, who was treated for hip avulsion fracture, balances upside down on the uneven bars.
Mikayla on the uneven bars at age 11, two years before she mastered the pirouette [PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE COMEIRO FAMILY]

In order to master the pirouette, Mikayla Comeiro drew on many of the strengths she’d developed as a competitive gymnast: hours of practice, determination and physical stamina. To perform a pirouette, the gymnast swings herself into a handstand on the uneven bars and walks her hands around in a circle, rotating her entire body while remaining upside down.

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