In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

December 12, 2019

‘Happy Liver-versary!’ Liver Transplant Patients Continue to Celebrate New Lives

By In the Loop

Ginger Brewer and her son, Mike, didn't set out to help a total stranger navigate the process of having a liver transplant. But a chance meeting led to just that.


What would it take for someone you've never met to convince you — over the phone — to pick up your life and move to an entirely different part of the country? Ginger Brewer has been on the persuading end of that scenario, and it ultimately helped save David Moore's life.

The phone call came after Ginger learned about David, who was living with the same rare genetic liver disease that led her to have a liver transplant at Mayo Clinic in Florida, Jacksonville's Action Jax News reports.

After helping Ginger navigate and recover from that transplant, her son, Mike, relocated to New Jersey. That's where he met David, during a chance encounter at church. After learning that David was waiting for a liver transplant, Mike explained that he had just walked his mom through the process of having a liver transplant.

Mike immediately called his mom to tell her the story. "I could almost feel myself panicking," Ginger says. "I knew that it was a lot harder for someone to get a liver up there."

That's when Ginger began lobbying for David to leave New Jersey and move, at least temporarily, to Jacksonville. Why? Because as Action Jax News reports, "Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has one of the shortest wait times in the entire country" for liver transplants.

David decided to take the heartfelt advice of someone he'd never met. He moved to Jacksonville to begin exploring his treatment options at Mayo Clinic. And "not long after his first consult," the station reports a Mayo Clinic care team told David they'd found him a new liver. It was Oct. 2, 2014 — exactly four years to the day that Ginger found out she would be getting her liver transplant.

"She gave me a hug and she goes, 'Happy liver-versary,'" David tells the station of Ginger's reaction to hearing of his impending transplant.

And a new celebration was born. Around that date every year, David and Ginger now get together to celebrate their "liver-versaries" together, even though David has since returned to living in New Jersey. "We celebrate with each other," Ginger tells the station. "We're like brothers and sisters. Not the fighting kind."

Rather, the kind who realize what a gift they've both been given.

You can read more about Ginger and David here. Then let us know what you think by sharing your comments below before using the handy social media tools atop this page to share this story with all your friends.


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Tags: Liver Disease, liver transplant, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Patient Stories

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