Liver transplant fundraising in India: From costs to FAQs, here are all the answers
By: Jasmine Marfatia
Published On: July 17, 2018
We take you through the trials and tribulations of liver disease, and how liver transplant fundraising will help you cope with it
There are over a 100 liver diseases that can affect an individual. Whether it's a case of liver cirrhosis or cancer, with extreme progression of any liver- related condition, there is a high risk of irreversible damage that could ultimately result in the need for a liver transplant.
When an individual suffers from a liver condition, they are not only coping with the physical and mental implication, but also the financial burden that comes with getting proper treatment.
Liver transplant fundraising is a great way to fund heavy costs associated with undergoing a liver transplant in India. Little Shanmuka for instance, raised money through liver transplant fundraising in just one week!What is a liver transplant?
A liver transplant is an operation that replaces a patient's diseased liver with a whole or partial healthy liver from another person. The liver is second most transplanted organ after kidney.
Deceased donors are usually people who formally opted (while living) to donate their organs after their death. Some people, however, donate part of their liver to another person while living. This is possible because a healthy liver has the ability to regenerate.
What could potentially lead to liver failure?
While some factors like genetics, that contribute to liver damage are beyond our control, other factors in our lifestyle can be controlled to reduce risk of liver diseases.
It is important to be aware of the causes of liver failure, and exercise caution in our everyday lives, to make changes to the lifestyles choices that might be putting us at risk.
Alcohol abuse: Over consumption of alcohol is one of the most common causes of liver damage. The toxicity of alcohol directly affect liver cells, causing them to get inflamed.
Chronic alcohol abuse leads to fat accumulation in the liver cells, which affects the liver’s ability to function properly.
Infections - Hepatitis A, B, C: Certain parasites and viruses can affect the functioning of the liver. The common infections related to a liver are: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
All of these are caused by contact with contaminants of food and water, contact with blood or bodily fluids of a person infected by the virus.
Genetics: It is possible that an individual suffering from a liver problem may have inherited an abnormal gene from one of both parents.
This may cause various substance to build up, causing liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include Hemochromatosis, Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis, and Wilson's disease.
Drugs induced liver damage: Certain substance in drugs and medication cause the liver cells to get inflamed, affecting their ability to function. If the consumption is excessive, over a large period of time, it will cause permanent damage to the liver.
For that reason, one must ensure that any medication is prescribed by a medical professional, in the right dosage. Over the counter medications contain warning labels that should be studied before consumption.Immune system abnormality: Sometimes your immune system mistakes your liver cells for foreign bodies, and attacks them by creating antibodies to fight them. When this becomes a chronic condition, it causes scarring of the liver or cirrhosis, ultimately leading to liver failure.
Immune system abnormalities include: autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis.
Cancerous tumors and other growths: Growth of abnormal cells in the liver are what causes liver cancer. This includes: liver cancer, bile duct cancer, and liver adenoma.
Liver cancer can be primary or secondary. When the cancer begins from cells in the liver itself, it is categorized as primary. When the cancer is carried from another organ or vessel, its is called secondary, or liver metastasis.
Hepatocellular is the most common type of liver cancer, affecting 30 out of one lakh people every year.
Watch out for these signs and symptoms that may serve as warning signs of liver damage
Early diagnosis is the most important step to curing any disease. Sometimes, liver disease symptoms disguise themselves as other minor aches and pains, and illnesses, which we tend to ignore.
If the following symptoms recur often, you must get checked by a medical professional.
Jaundice: A certain yellowish discolouration of the skin and nails is a sign of jaundice. Jaundice is a condition where too much bilirubin (a compound that is used to breakdown hemoglobin and red blood cells) is in circulation.
Since bilirubin is produced by the liver, the symptoms may indicate a liver problem. Consequently, the sufferer may also find that his/her skin is extremely itchy and dry.
Abdominal swelling: Abdominal swelling occurs due to a condition called Ascites, which implies a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Ascites is usually a result of liver cirrhosis or liver damage, which makes it an important symptom to be tested by your doctor, incase you notice excessive swelling, pain, or bloating in your abdominal area.
Appetite loss, nausea, or vomiting: If you start to feel too full after a small meal, or start feeling nauseous or you vomit, repeatedly over a period of time, it could be a sign of liver damage.
Chronic fatigue: Constant fatigue, lethargy, sleepiness, or unexplained exhaustion is a very common in liver diseases patients. Since we wouldn’t normally associate tiredness to a liver problem, it is a difficult symptom to take note of.
Dark coloured urine: It is normal for the colour of urine to change through the day, depending on the amount of fluid intake. However, observing dark-colored urine should serve as an alert that something is off. Urine that is orange, amber or brown might signify liver disease.
Tendency to bruise or bleed easily: The liver is responsible for blood clotting. If the liver is damaged, then it is unable to produce scar tissue or clotting factors that prevent easy bleeding. As a result, individuals with liver conditions tend to bruise very easily.
As the liver damage progresses, most of these symptoms of liver diseases start to become more critical and obvious, requiring a person to get immediate medical care.
Having any of these liver disease symptoms may not necessarily indicate liver damage, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Running a liver transplant fundraising campaign in India
The good news about liver transplant surgeries is that the success rate is nearly 90% or more. The bad news is that the liver transplant cost in India and liver cirrhosis treatment cost in India can run into several lakhs, sometimes far more than Rs. 15-25 lakhs.
This can be huge strain on savings, and in case the patient is from economically weaker background, an expense impossible to bear and entirely unaffordable.
Online liver transplant fundraising helps you reach out to millions of people who engage in philanthropy, friends, family, and other communities who may have suffered a similar fate with a life threatening disease.
You’d be surprised to know so many people care about you all over India and the world. All you need to do is tell people why you need money and make an appeal for a donation.
All in all, you will be able to raise money for your treatment without spending a single rupee from your own savings.
In the hope that we will be able to assist people on how to raise funds for a liver transplant in India, we’ve noted down some tips and ideas for liver transplant fundraising on crowdfunding websites:
Present proof of your medical condition through a letter from your doctor or a hospital bill.
Provide a fund utilization plan that will account for hospital bills, medications, test, and postoperative expenses.
Allow your potential donors to get to know your journey an emotionally compelling campaign narrative.
Let your readers know how urgent your surgery is.
Express your gratitude to donors during, as well as after the campaign ends.
If there is anyone suffering from a liver disease and a needs liver transplant, let them be aware that financial assistance is always available on Impact Guru’s crowdfunding platform.
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