SANTA MONICA—The American Liver Foundation (ALF) will be kicking off its 8th annual Liver Life Walk Los Angeles Division on Sunday, September 20, at Ocean View Park in Santa Monica.
This weekend over 600 participants will be hitting the pavement along a 3-mile route from Ocean View Park to the Santa Monica Pier and back to join the battle against Hepatitis and 100 different types of known liver diseases.
The Liver Life Walk is the nation’s largest liver-wellness fundraising event, bringing together more than 13,000 people across the states to raise both awareness and financial support for the millions of Americans living with liver disease.
Liver disease is an escalating health concern in the United States and according to Farrah Douglas, the event’s executive manager, one in every 10 Americans are affected by this disease. In total, 13 million people in the U.S. are suffering from liver disease and 600,000 are affected by Hepatitis-C, which can lead to liver inflammation.
Douglas spoke to Canyon News and indicated that the route between Ocean View Park and the Santa Monica Pier will be flooded by 630 walkers being lead by 40 volunteers acting as guides. Along the walkway participants can expect refreshments and energy-packed foods as the team will be handing out protein bars, bagels and bananas, as well as two different types of water: regular water and watermelon water.
Along with talks and information sessions educating participants on the road of liver disease, there will be activities for the children, a majority of whom are the patients.
Cinderella will grace the sidewalk with singing, dancing and even face painting as an opposing Jedi Master will bring Star Wars to life.
Registration for the event is free and will last between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The walk will commence at 10 a.m. and will wrap up at noon.
Already 62 percent of the campaign’s goal has been reached at $62,232, according to the foundation’s website.
The leading team is The Healthy Hedgehogs who has surpassed their $10,000 goal with $11,830 currently raised. “We (David, his two sisters and his parents) are walking to raise awareness about liver disease. David Burns, our dear brother, was diagnosed with life threatening end stage liver disease in November 2014. By the miracles of many doctors, nurses, family and friends, he received a liver transplant on January 26, 2015 at the UCLA hospital,” says the the team’s webpage. Burns, 40, is a father of two and has been growing stronger since his transplant and focuses on bettering himself everyday. Burns is also the single-forerunner participant who has raised over $12,000, says Douglas.
Since the transplant, Burns has made a life-altering recovery. He has gone from the pain of resting his head on a pillow to the momentum of walking, even running, down the street with the help of therapy, as well as the unrelenting support and love of his family. His parents, sisters, wife and children plan to walk by his side this Sunday to support Burns on his mission to bring “all of us another stride closer to a world free of liver disease.”
“The Liver Life Walk keeps the mission of the American Liver Foundation moving forward. Money raised by Liver Life Walk participants provides critical funding for medical research, public education, patient support services, and advocacy,” says the event’s webpage.
The funds allow professionals to be sent to school to educate teachers, institutions and children about liver disease. “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a growing epidemic and we plan on starting in the classroom and teaching children about happy, healthy diets that leads to better lives,” Douglas told Canyon News.
Eight-five percent of funds raised goes to patient services and research. The foundation has grown to the point where they have the support to spend the money on what truly matters, such as education, prevention, research and cures, and not administrative oversight.
Those who raise over $100 will be given a the National Liver Life Walk t-shirt as a token of their effort and those of their community.
For additional information about the foundation and walk details visit the American Liver Foundation website.