Ottawa LIVERight Gala 2019 recap
Thanks to the generous support from our volunteers, attendees, special guests, sponsors, and donors, we are thrilled to announce that the 2019 LIVERight Gala was a great success across the country. This national event raised over $1M in support of liver research and education!
Thank you Ottawa for a wonderful evening!
Hosted at Lago in Dow’s Lake Pavilion this fabulous fundraising event in Ottawa featured a reception, delicious food station and grazing table, cause-connected entertainment and both, a live and silent auction. Numerous businesses, artists, and individual donors contributed items with proceeds going to support Canadians affected by liver disease.
Our emcee, Michael O’Byrne, has been a valued local champion and helped us raise much-needed funds in support liver research and education.
DJ Bryan Boswell shared his liver transplant story with us and brought the dance floor to life!
Dr. Morgan Fullerton shared information on his research on NAFLD and key liver facts. Dr. Tom Shaw-Stiffel celebrated the CLF’s 50th anniversary, reminding us to keep our livers healthy. Sarah Poulsen shared her humour and passion for working with those impacted by liver disease.
The Canadian Liver Foundation honoured a number of special individuals for their dedication and kind-hearted generosity with a ‘50th Anniversary Recognition Medal’. With their support over the years, we have funded over $35 million in liver research.
For a complete list of medal recipients click here.
Thank you to all who contributed to the mural created at the gala that includes our collective story in Eastern Ontario.
Michael O’Byrne, anchor of the CTV News at Noon, was our emcee for our 2019 gala!
Michael helps over 100 charities in Ottawa to raise millions of dollars each year. He has special connection to the Canadian Liver Foundation, as his niece Jennifer O’Byrne is a living liver donor to her daughter Faith, who was born with biliary atresia.
CLF’s research grant recipient Dr. Morgan Fullerton led our trivia segment at Ottawa’s LIVERight Gala.
Dr. Morgan, a metabolism researcher at the University of Ottawa and his team are working hard to understand the link between metabolism and immunity in metabolic diseases such as obesity, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Comedy for a Cause
We were so excited to have Sarah Poulsen join us to warm up the crowd for the comedy segment of the gala! Does Sarah look familiar? Well, that’s because she has been working as an admin for Dr. Thomas Shaw-Stiffel at the Ottawa Hospital for the past 3 years.
Prior to embarking on a career in healthcare, Sarah managed her husband’s law practice for 14 years. Sarah also dabbled in stand-up comedy while living in Toronto and is involved in local community theatre!
The Ever-Entertaining Mark Hatfield
Local comedian and motivational speaker Mark Hatfield joined us to celebrate this special occasion!
Mark‘s extraordinary story is well documented. After graduating from Bishop’s University Mark earned a spot with the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and later played for the Houston Oilers. In 1997, he moved back to Canada, and joined the B.C. Lions football club of the Canadian Football League.
Beyond football, Mark created and starred in short segments like “The Retired CFL Guy” for the comedy network’s “Game Face” series. He also hosted the “Big Bad Sports Show” on Rogers for two seasons and has been a frequent guest on TSN’s “Off the Record with Michael Landsberg”. Mark is also the founder and head trainer for Hatfield’s Athletic Development Centre and is a professional firefighter in the city of Ottawa.
Dr. Thomas Shaw-Stiffel
Our guests heard from Dr. Thomas Shaw-Stiffel, senior gastroenterologist at the Ottawa Hospital. Thomas is a native of Montreal and received his MDCM from McGill in 1981. He then completed his post-grad training at the University of Toronto in internal medicine, gastroenterology, as well as Clinical Pharmacology. In 1991, Dr. Shaw-Stiffel moved to the United States where he held a variety of leadership positions including at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the busiest liver transplant centers in the world.
In 2000, he completed a Masters of Medical Management (MMM) at Tulane University. In 2007, Dr. Shaw-Stiffel returned to Canada to join The Ottawa Hospital – University of Ottawa where he served as Chief of GI from 2007-2010. Dr. Shaw-Stiffel is currently part of The Ottawa Hospital Hepatology Program.
Every dollar advances liver research.
Liver disease is a silent killer. Most people don’t know they have it until the liver is severely damaged. Liver disease affects men, women & children of all ages. For 50 years, the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF) has demonstrated its commitment to Canadians by investing donor’s funds into education programs and services and providing hope for those suffering with liver disease by funding much-needed liver research.
2019 LIVERight Gala Honouree
Bryan is a local Ottawa DJ and former member of the Canadian hip hop group Organized Rhyme. At 19 years old Bryan awoke one night, unable to breathe. After being examined at the hospital, they found his liver to be the size of a football. He was diagnosed with chronic autoimmune hepatitis, a disease of the liver that happens when the body’s immune system attacks its liver cells and causes the liver to be inflamed. His doctor at the time said that he would require a transplant when he turned 35 years old. Sure enough, at 35 his liver began to fail, and it was confirmed that he would need a transplant. He waited 4 years to find a match and receive a donated liver. Bryan feels very fortunate to be offered this second chance at life and is giving back. He has joined the Ottawa LIVERight Gala planning committee and is supporting others coping with liver disease by helping CLF raise funds for life-saving liver research.
Thank you to our 2019 National & Regional Sponsors
2019 Regional Sponsors
Official Airline Sponsor
2019 Silent Auction donations generously donated by the following businesses:
Alegra Loewenstein * Alleviate Massage Therapy Clinic * Algonquin College * Aperitivo * Arthur Murray * BarkBox * Blue Cactus * Bonnechere Caves * Brew Donkey * DJ Bryan Boswell * Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum * Canadian Museum of History * Canadian War Museum * Cancun Cards * canvaspop * ClubEG * Cody Party Rentals and Balloon Design * Constance & Arnold Gallinger * Cosmic Adventures * Courtyard Restaurant * Domaine Perrault Winery * Dumouchel Meat & Deli * East India Company * Elevate Yoga * Epicure * Equator Coffee * Full of Beans Party Rental * Funhaven * The Gladstone Theatre * Hairtech Coiffure * Ingenium * Jerome Photographer * Jet Black Hair & Studio * Joyfully Made By Kim * KBR Screenprint & Embroidery * Kings Stay Kings * Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises * Lago Bar Grill View * La Maison D’or * La Maison Simons * Lisa Provencal Photography * Malenka Originals * Maritime Travel * Mayfair Theatre * Medieval Times * Mud Oven * National Air Force Museum of Canada * National Arts Centre * Next Generation Distributors Inc. * North and Navy * Ottawa 67’s * Ottawa City Rafting * Ottawa Holistic Wellness * Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association * Pelican Seafood Market and Grill * Perivale Gallery * Pilates Space * Pour My Mind * PRIME Personal Training Studio * Pure Yoga * Rainbow Foods * Rogers Media * Royal Ontario Museum * Safari Niagara * Sarah Walsh Jewellery * South St. Burger * Spiderman * Stratus * Studio One Personal Training * Thali * The Brew Table * The Rowan * Tomo Restaurant * True Loaf Bread Company * twiss & weber * VIA Rail Canada.
2018 Photo Gallery
Meet our special guests from previous LIVERight Galas.
“I was born on September 24, 2008, healthy but with a common condition of jaundice. My jaundice never went away and at my eight-week doctor’s appointment, I was sent to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). After many tests, the doctors at CHEO said I had biliary atresia.
At 10 weeks old, I had my first of 12 surgeries called a Kasai procedure. The doctors hoped it would allow the bile to flow in my liver. I was in and out of CHEO and my body was getting more and more sick every day.
On February 17, 2009, I was sent to SickKids Hospital in Toronto needing a liver transplant to save my life. On March 9, 2009, I received a new liver from my Mommy. I am now nine years old and I get to enjoy my family, my best friends and my life. I want to raise money to help find a cure for biliary atresia so that other babies and kids don’t need to be sick in the hospital.”
Faith’s strength to share her story, and her readiness to raise funds in support of liver research continues to amaze family and friends alike. She and her family are extremely active participants in the CLF’s annual Stroll for Liver and LIVERight Gala events.
On November 8th, 2010 Lillian was born after a healthy planned C-section with no surprises but on December 6th at just six weeks old things rapidly changed and Lillian was diagnosed with biliary atresia.
On New Year’s Eve, doctors recommended the Kasaia procedure for Lillian, an operation to replace the damaged bile duct with a new drainage system made from a piece of the small intestine. It worked for awhile, but the 14 medications Lillian was taking daily were not helping and the doctors recommended a liver transplant from a living donor.
Lillian’s father’s was a match for her, but he had to embark on a 9 month routine to become healthier and lose weight to be able to donate part of his liver to his beloved daughter. During this 9-month period, Lillian was in horrible discomfort and as time went on, her spleen enlarged. Her health was up and down causing such distress for Lilian and her family.
Lillian was 14 months old when she received a portion of her Dad’s liver. Unfortunately In the past 3 years Lillian has had 5 liver biopsies because she continues to experience bile duct problems. She may require another transplant in the near future. Lillian’s parents Arlene and Tony trust that the research the CLF funds could soon find the answers to avoid another transplant for their daughter.
Adam was born in Ottawa, on August 21, 2008 weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz. He appeared to be a healthy baby except for his jaundice. After many tests and lots of waiting, Adam was diagnosed with biliary atresia.
At just 5 weeks of age, Adam had his first surgery (the Kasai procedure). The Kasai unfortunately was not successful and his liver continued to become more damaged. Adam’s parents continued to to follow doctors’ instructions giving him the many medications, vitamins and special formula he needed in order to help him grow.
Just 1 week before Adam turned 6 months old, he had his liver transplant his Dad, David donated a portion of his liver. The surgery went well but there were many ups and downs. The first year following his transplant was filled with IV medications every day at first and then once a week, many oral medications, frequent blood work and visits back to the hospital.
Today Adam is an active, social, very happy kid enjoying life to the fullest.
Mike lived his life as an open book never shying away from his own personal battles. In 2011, MacDonald was diagnosed with Hepatitis C which progressed to the point where his liver and his kidneys shut down. He was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant and on March 17, 2013 he underwent a successful seven-hour liver transplant operation.
Late Mike a Canadian Award-Winning comedian, understood the power of laughter. In addition to his successful and well-received live performances all over North America, Mike appeared on numerous TV shows on HBO, Showtime, The Comedy Network, and CBC’s Just For Laughs.
He was also starred in three well received and critically acclaimed specials for the CBC in Canada and for Showtime in the US which include, On Target, My House My Rules! and Happy As I Can Be.
Mike was an incredible supporter of the Canadian Liver Foundation helping raise awareness of liver health and liver disease and we are grateful for his support.