My name is Kelsey and I’m 30yrs old from Sonoma County, I was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia in ’91. I was given a Kasai procedure and ended up needing a liver transplant at six months old. Biliary Atresia is a rare condition where the bile ducts are blocked. I was one of the first of many infants to be gifted a transplant at CPMC in San Francisco by Dr. Carlos Esquivel. At 16 years old I achieved organ tolerance where I was able to stop taking my immunosuppressive drugs. At 28 years old, I celebrated achieving tolerance by being part of medical study at UCSF to help eliminate the immunosuppressive medications for future organ transplant patients. The hope is that anti-rejection medications for liver and kidney transplant patients can be eliminated.
When the time comes I plan to donate my body to science. I am grateful for my liver still being in fantastic shape despite my many other chronic illnesses. I try to give back to science and the medical field whenever I can and I’m so grateful for the gift of life. I continue to enjoy my days, now disabled, aside from my yellow labrador Charley, friends, and family. I enjoy seeing the world through my camera lens taking photography and I hope to write a book someday to tell my story and spread awareness of my rare and chronic illnesses. Its been said by genetics that less than 1% of the world’s population has the same combinations of my health conditions and I could even have my own syndrome. Be an organ donor💚