Weekly Feature

2017-06-15 / Front Page

Man with liver cancer seeks living donor

Second chance at life
by JENNIFER WATERS
Editor


Michael Tuberdyck is battling liver cancer as a result of contracting Hepatits C from blood products. His wife, Marilyn, is working to raise awareness of the need for living organ donors. 
Photo courtesy Michael Tuberdyck, Facebook Michael Tuberdyck is battling liver cancer as a result of contracting Hepatits C from blood products. His wife, Marilyn, is working to raise awareness of the need for living organ donors. Photo courtesy Michael Tuberdyck, Facebook Michael and Marilyn Tuberdyck have lived in West Seneca for 38 years. For as many years, Michael has been living with hepatitis C, which he contracted from blood products in the 1970s and ’80s.

Now, Michael is battling liver cancer.

He has been added to the transplant list at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Transplant Service.

His wife is working to bring attention to the need for all citizens to register as organ donors and consider registering as a living liver donor.

“All citizens should ask their doctors to do a blood test for hepatitis C, because liver cancer can be preventable by relatively easy treatment,” Tuberdyck said in a letter to The Bee.

A living-donor liver transplant would save Michael Tuberdyck’s life.

His liver cancer has returned after his 2014 treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and, after an extensive work-up at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in December, he is now on the liver transplant list.

“Mike jokes he is the healthiest sick person you ever saw, what with his exercising, eating right, no alcohol, etc., and that they want to cure his hemophilia, but they want to do it the hard way,” Tuberdy- ck said.

Anyone interested in donating a portion of their liver can contact the transplant nurse at UPMC by calling 412-647-5800 or emailing transplant@upmc.edu. The nurse can answer any questions.

“The donor’s liver will regenerate. The portion donated to Mike will soon grow into full size, will save him and will also cure his hemophilia,” Tuberdyck said.

In hemophiliacs, the ability of the blood to clot is considerably reduced, and heavy bleeding can result from slight injuries.

Donors must be between 18 and 55 years of age and be in good general health.

For Michael, blood types B and O are compatible. If a donor is not found, he will have to wait for a liver from an accident victim.

To learn more, visit livingdonorreg. upmc.com and click “Register to be a Living Donor.”

“Please update your driver’s license and health care proxy, and indicate your wish to become an organ donor,” Tuberdyck said. “The transplant nurse told us we will be amazed at the goodness in people. We have faith and optimism.”

email: jwaters@beenews.com

Return to top