Stories about: Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC)

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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Emily and Isis: Gratitude in the form of a bean

Emily and Isis, kidney donor and recipient, show their matching kidney necklaces.
Emily, left, and Isis with matching kidney necklaces [PHOTOS: SOPHIE FABBRI/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL]

Emily: When grief becomes a gift 

Much of my life has been defined by loss. That loss has taken many forms. Sometimes, it hurdles in with horrific force and other times it sneaks up silently. But it shares one common thread: It has been out of my control.

So, imagine how I felt when I realized that I do have the ability to control destiny, to offer hope to someone else.

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Innovative treatment for a large liver tumor saves Ziad

Young boy in hospital for liver tumor treatment
Ziad right before his second TACE procedure

Ziad Selbak was a pint-sized patient with a huge medical challenge. In March 2017, the two-year-old was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), an aggressive form of liver cancer rare in young children.

But specialists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center were ready to take on the challenge. They collaborated on an innovative application of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) — an established treatment for adults — to deliver chemotherapy directly to Ziad’s large tumor and stabilize his condition with the ultimate goal of liver transplant.

It all started in February 2017, when Ziad took a tumble on a toy at his family’s home in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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