Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Rare disease leaves teen in need of liver transplant



By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP - Beth Dodson was on the path to become a nurse to help heal others when she became ill in August.

HOW TO HELP
What: Fund-raiser for Beth Dodson. The evening features food, dancing to a DJ, raffles and door prizes. Grand prize is a $1,000 Night to Remember, which includes a limousine ride, one-hour airplane tour of the city, dinner for two at the Maisonette and one night's stay at The Cincinnatian.

When: 7 p.m.-midnight Friday

Where: Campbell Country Center, 1836 Ohio Pike, Amelia

Cost: $10 per person.

How to help: More raffle and door prizes are needed. Call Michelle Dodson at 474-2646.

Monetary donations may also be made to the Beth Dodson Liver Transplant Fund at any Bank One.

Now, the 17-year-old Anderson High School and Live Oaks senior, needs a liver transplant to survive and is on a national waiting list. Her family is sponsoring a fund-raiser dance Friday at Campbell Country Center in Amelia to help offset medical costs of a transplant.

Dr. John Bucuvalas at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center diagnosed her Sept. 4 with a rare liver disease called Wilson's.

"This is diagnosed 11 times a year worldwide," said her mother, Michelle Dodson. "The last case they've seen at Children's Hospital was 22 years ago."

When she was diagnosed, she had three to five weeks to get a new liver, but medication has stabilized her condition. She now takes 13 medications a day.

A liver transplant will cost $500,000, barring complications, Dodson said. Insurance will pay 20 percent.

Dodson had just returned to work before Beth became sick, but lost her job after spending so much time at the hospital with her daughter. Now, the family is down to one income, but her husband, Larry, has insurance.

"She sleeps 18 out of 24 hours a day because her liver is sick, and she doesn't have the energy to do anything," Dodson said. "As long as she stays stable on medication, she will be fine, so they can find a perfect match.

"At first, she didn't want to know anything about her disease. She was just very down. I just told her, 'Beth, you have to have faith. We have awesome doctors.' Once she figured that out, that raised her spirits."

E-mail ckranz@enquirer.com




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