Liver Life Walk to honor 2-year-old transplant recipient

Fairfield resident Charlie White, 2, will be honored by the American Liver Foundation at the fourth annual Liver Life Walk of Fairfield County as the “LIVEr Champion.”

“A LIVEr Champion is a courageous and inspiring individual that is facing or has faced a battle with liver disease,” said Kristin Link, event manager. “Charlie is a shining example of an energetic, fun loving and brave child, despite the disease she has currently overcome.”

Charlie was diagnosed with Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) a few days after birth. MSUD is an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to process certain protein building blocks properly.

“Charlie was born seemingly perfect,” said Dana White, Charlie’s mother. “Within a few days, her health began to mysteriously deteriorate. It was unclear what the problem was, but she was lethargic and losing interest in eating.”

Charlie spent more than a month in the hospital on a ventilator, with a collapsed lung, brain swelling and feeding tubes. It was evident that the only cure to this disease would be a liver transplant, one capable of processing leucine. Charlie received 25% of her mother’s liver on June 12, 2012, and was home from the hospital in just eight days.

Over the past year, Charlie and mom’s recovery has been remarkable. She is able to eat without restrictions, she loves to play and has just begun to walk.

Charlie and her family will be walking in the Liver Life Walk on Sept. 29, to help raise money for the American Liver Foundation, in hopes of finding a cure to liver disease and to create awareness on the importance of organ donation.

The Liver Life Walk will be held at Commons Park, Harbor Point, in Stamford. Proceeds from the walk will support the Connecticut division of the American Liver Foundation’s mission to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of all liver diseases.

Registration for the walk will begin at 9 a.m., with the stage program, emceed by 95.9 The FOX, set to begin at 10,. The 5K walk will begin promptly at 11, followed by a free lunch and live music for all participants.

Physicians, community leaders, health professionals, patients and loved ones will be among the 500 participants expected for a morning of festivities, including a team meeting area for tailgating before the walk, music, a Harmony Yoga warm-up routine and children’s activities and a free lunch.

To start a team, join a team or register as an individual at either of the walks, visit Registration is free, participants who raise $100 or more will receive a free walk T-shirt.

The American Liver Foundation is also seeking volunteers to help with the set-up, registration, clean-up and cheering for the walkers. Volunteers may also register through the website.

For more information about liver disease or the Liver Life Walk, contact the Connecticut Division of the American Liver Foundation at 203-234-2022 or