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CHICAGO (CAP) - It's out with the old, in with the new organs as the American Medical Association and the International Liver Transplantation Society prepare to celebrate the second annual Mother-Daughter Liver Transplant Day. Tomorrow's event is expected to draw hundreds to dozens of hospitals around the country.
"Last year we oversaw 42 liver transplant surgeries on MDLT Day," said AMA spokesperson Candace Meriden. "Now that we've gotten the word out, this year we're hoping to increase that number to over 300. To us, that would spell success."
A $10 million ad campaign tops this year's media blitz, as well as public service posters in subway stations around the country. Insurance companies denied payment in only 45% of last year's surgeries, deeming them "unnecessary." If that trend holds true this year, the ILTS said they would gladly pick up the tab for the remainder.
ILTS spokesperson Chad Bergman said the day is meant to focus on both the growing number of patients in need of liver transplants as well as the often tenuous relationship between a mother and a daughter.
"Can you think of a better way to help keep your teenage daughter away from alcohol than to remove her liver entirely?" asked Bergman. "There's no stronger message than one drink will kill you, sweetie."
Bergman also said that girls shouldn't fear the loss of the organ because if all goes well, they will eventually get it back. "Perhaps a little worse for the wear," he said, "but typically functional."
Meriden said the number of heartwarming stories to come out of last year's MDLT Day "was just astounding," and she hopes this year is the same. Highlights from last year include:
- the alcoholic mother who hadn't seen her daughter in over ten years but somehow found the courage to approach her and ask for her liver
- the dying mother who desperately needed a new liver weeks before last year's MDLT Day but held on to take part in the holiday festivities
- the daughter who donated her liver to her birth mother and then received one in return from her adoptive mother
Meriden said if they can fit it into the AMA budget, they are also working on plans for a Deadbeat Father-Son Swap-A-Lung Day sometime next year.
- CAP News Staff