I just wanted to take a moment to share with you a personal story for the upcoming Marathon. My Wife, Holly Schlesser is running with a group out of the western Chicago Suburbs, The Fox River Trail Runners. This will be her third marathon, which by itself, is not particularly noteworthy. However, this marathon marks the two year anniversary of her liveLiver donation to save the life of a 9 month old baby.
if she had not gotten as healthy as she had, and hadn't been able to run a marathon, she would likely not have been that match
I work as a Firefighter/Paramedic in Schaumburg, IL and my wife and I befriended another couple of which, the husband was a Firefighter/Paramedic in the Department neighboring mine. Our relationship grew quite close and when they announced they were pregnant with twins, my wife became godmother to their son. Shortly after birth, his sister, Madison showed signs of Liver disease. She was diagnosed with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a somewhat rare Liver disease. At 7 months old, it was determined she needed a Liver transplant.
The October before the twins were born, My wife took some large strides to get healthy together. We both dropped 50 plus pounds and ran the Chicago Marathon side by side. Upon the news of Madison needing a liver transplant, Holly immediately volunteered to be screened for the potential match. She was informed by doctors, she was a perfect match, and after further discussion, they informed her that if she had not gotten as healthy as she had, and hadn’t been able to run a marathon, she would likely not have been that match due to fatty build ups on most Livers.
On November 10th of 2014, Holly and Madison underwent surgery to complete a Live Liver Donation at Northwestern Memorial and Lurie Children’s Hospitals in Chicago . The surgery was a great success!! Since the surgery, with the new liver, Madison is cured of Alpha 1. She is now almost 3 and one would never know she was ever sick. Holly is also doing great! In September of 2015, she claimed a full recovery by running her second Marathon, the Fox Valley Marathon in St. Charles, IL, our hometown.
In less than a month, she will be running in the Indy Marathon to not only celebrate hers and Madison’s good health, but to bring more awareness to Organ Donation!!