Army reservist diagnosed with rare, chronic liver disease seeks liver donor

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 21-year-old Army reservist is in desperate need of a liver transplant after being diagnosed with a rare and chronic liver disease. Now, he is reaching out for help.

"I have a condition called PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis) and I will a liver transplant in the future," said Adrian Clark.

For now, the south suburban resident is still on his job as a utility worker and able to train as a combat hospital support specialist.

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He was just 17 years old and in high school when he was first diagnosed with PSC, which is an auto-immune condition that damages the bile ducts in and outside of the liver.

Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton, died of cancer that was a rare side effect of PSC.

"I always thought I was a tough guy, so I finally found something in my life that I can't control," said Adrian's father Johnnie Clark. "[I] can't fix, that's why we're reaching out to other people to help us solve this problem."

There is no cure for PSC and the only treatment is an organ transplant, but the waiting list to receive a transplant from a deceased donor is long. That is why the family is hoping to find a living donor. A healthy human liver is the only organ in the body able to regenerate itself.

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While Adrian's mother undergoes tests to see if she's a match and compatible with his A-positive blood type, his half-brother and dad have already been ruled out.

"It's been a rollercoaster ride for me," said Wendy Sanders-Clark, Adrian's mother. "It's hard. He's my only biological child and I've got to do everything to try to help him.

The family has taken to social media, pleading for someone to consider helping Adrian.

An eligible person must be fit and healthy, between the ages of 18 and 55, and blood type compatible.

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A living donor would be covered by Adrian's insurance for all costs related to the transplant and recovery is usually a few weeks.

As Adrian looks forward to celebrating his 22nd birthday next month, he is also looking forward to receiving the gift of life.

"I just take it one day at a time," he said.

If you're interested in becoming a living donor, contact the University of Chicago Liver Transplant Department at (773) 702-4500.
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