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Annual Canadian Liver Foundation event goes virtual to raise funds for liver disease

Click to play video: 'Stroll for Liver goes virtual' Stroll for Liver goes virtual
We chat with Gary Trainer from the Moncton chapter of the Canadian Liver Foundation to find out more about their Stroll for Liver event going virtual on Aug. 30. – Aug 11, 2020

It’s a different kind of stroll for the Canadian Liver Foundation this year.

The foundation’s annual Stroll for Liver event has had to pivot amid COVID-19 and go the virtual route to help raise awareness about liver disease and funds for research.

This year’s event will take place Sunday, Aug. 30 and participants are encouraged to stroll their own way: at home, in their backyard or around their neighbourhood, either in teams or individually. Money raised through the event will help to fund research to find a cure and better treatment options for people living with liver disease.

Read more: Calgary man makes public plea for liver donation as health deteriorates

“If it wasn’t for the Liver Foundation, I… wouldn’t be here,” says Canadian Liver Foundation Moncton chapter president Gary Trainor. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for donations. You never know what a difference you can make.”

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Trainor is one of the many Canadians directly affected by liver disease. In 2008, after a visit to the hospital for a broken hand, a blood test revealed he had Stage 1 liver cancer.

In July, University of Calgary liver specialist Dr. Mark Swain told The Canadian Press “there’s a reason why they call liver disease the silent killer: it’s because liver disease broadly has no symptoms.”

Swain also warns that the often undetected disease could impose an enormous burden on the Canadian health-care system over the next decade if there isn’t more public awareness.

Read more: Fatty liver disease a growing public health concern in Canada, study finds

There are over 100 different forms of liver disease and one in four Canadians may be affected by it, according to the Canadian Liver Foundation.  A number of factors can cause liver disease, like genetics, obesity, substance abuse, immune system deficiencies and viruses.

Your liver drives many of your body’s critical systems so when it breaks down, your body will, too, sometimes with little to no warning that something’s wrong as the liver will continue working even when two-thirds of it has been damaged.

Learn more about the Canadian Liver Foundation and the Stroll for Liver at liver.ca.

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