Toronto LIVERight Gala 2018
A Fundraiser in Support of Liver Research and Education
Thank you for being part of the 2018 Toronto LIVERight Gala in support of children and youth living with liver disease! We hope you enjoyed the inspiring words of our Board Chairperson Dr. Sherman, and our honoured researcher Dr. Kamath.
We are thrilled to announce that with your support we raised over $1 Million at our signature event across the country. Your generosity has helped lay the groundwork for new liver disease treatments to be discovered, and for our initiatives supporting anyone affected by liver disease to continue.
Because of your generosity, we are able to forge a new frontier of hope for children affected by liver disease. You have done your part in providing researchers with the funds they need to continue improving the lives of Canadians and bring us one step closer to the answers we need.
Our emcee and philanthro-tainer, Layne the Auctionista, kept the audience thoroughly engaged and helped us raise much-needed funds in support liver research and education. Jazz sensation, Tia Brazda provided a magnificent performance.
Thank you to all attendees, volunteers, donors and sponsors who supported our events in 2018. We invite you to join us again in 2019!
2018 Photo Gallery
2018 National Sponsors
Nutrafarms | Air Canada Foundation | The Clever Quill | Grant Thornton LLP | Apotex Inc
Meet our special guests from previous LIVERight Galas in Toronto
Alessandria was first diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) a disease that slowly breaks down the bile ducts of the liver, at two-years-old. Suffering from frequent tummy aches, sleeping for 12 to 13 hours a night, and napping for three hours a day, her parents took her frequently to the ER where she was eventually given her diagnosis. PSC is manageable, but will never go away.
“We were shocked to hear that for the rest of her life Alessandria would be taking medication,” remarks Natalie, Alessandria’s mother.
Now at age 10, Alessandria sees her hepatologist every three months where she undergoes blood work to check her liver enzyme numbers. Her parents continue to ensure she keeps on top of her countless medications and vitamins.
Alessandria’s parent’s worst fear is that one day soon she will need a liver transplant.
Still, it can be difficult for Alessandria and her family to interact with others who have little understanding of how this liver disease impacts their family.
“People will say she doesn’t look that sick so it can’t be that bad,” says Natalie, Alessandria’s mom. “Yet, they don’t know how she feels daily, the amount of medication she needs to take, or how many hospital visits she must endure.”
“It is amazing how quickly a life can change!” remarks Julie, Brock’s mother.Brock Chessell was on the ice feeling fine, but just two days after hockey tryouts ended, the 10-year-old St. Mary’s resident was in the hospital with a liver cancer diagnosis. After a visit to their family doctor to check on Brock’s severe weight loss, he was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer. Brock, also a pitcher and second baseman, plays triple-A for the U11 Ontario Expos. So you can see that Brock was a very active sports enthusiast! But from that day at their doctor’s office and for the next five months everything changed for Brock and his family – he couldn’t participate in sports; he missed school due to long and arduous chemo sessions. But Brock and his family stayed positive and knew a cure would be found before it was too late. Brock was placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant as the liver cancer specialist ruled out the possibility of receiving an organ donation from a living donor. On August 23rd Brock had a liver transplant. Brock is now considered cancer free and just finished the last round of chemotherapy in September. Brock’s determination and support from family and friends enabled him to be one of the first liver transplants patient to be released from hospital so quickly! “We will be forever grateful to the organ donor and his or her family for offering this incredible gift of life to Brock,” says Julie, “and we are so thankful to the Canadian Liver Foundation knowing that their focus on liver research is so strong and successful”.
Nathan was born November 15, 2015 in Hamilton, Ontario.
Like most babies, during the first few days after birth Nathan was quite jaundiced. He was routinely treated with photo-therapy and we were sent on our way.
During the first two weeks after photo-therapy, we noticed that he was becoming increasingly more jaundiced. At each trip to the family doctor, I expressed my concerns for his jaundice, often being reassured that the yellow presence after photo-therapy takes time to fade. By the third visit, we convinced the doctor to retest his bilirubin, which unfortunately had increased and he was diagnosed with biliary atresia.
At five weeks old, Nathan had a Kasai procedure. Over the next few months the Kasai partially worked, which was so helpful to allow Nathan to get a little bit bigger for transplant assessment.
In May of 2016, Nathan’s health dramatically declined and his liver began to fail. On June 15th, 2016, Nathan had a liver transplant at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto; his mom Alicia was his living donor. What a day that was!
Now, Nathan is a happy healthy 19 month old! He is so silly; he loves playing with his older brother Logan, and can easily keep up with other kids his age. “You would never know that just one year ago, our healthy, happy boy was not so healthy” Alicia Nathan’s Mom.
Randy Bachman performed at the 2017 LIVERight Gala in Toronto.
Few artists can claim to have made a bigger impact on popular music than Randy Bachman, widely regarded as the “architect of Canadian rock ‘n’ roll.” His renowned songwriting acumen produced “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “American Woman,” “Let it Ride, “Taking Care of Business,” “Looking Out for #1,” “No Sugar Tonight” and “These Eyes,” tracks that have become pop‐culture touchstones. His accomplishments haven’t gone unrecognized, of course. In addition to his induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, Bachman has the distinction of being the only one of his countrymen to be inducted twice into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, most recently alongside his fellow original Bachman‐Turner Overdrive members in 2014.