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Doctor Sheds Coat for Sneakers

While Dr. Michael Schilsky, 53, will make great strides in battling diseases of the liver on Sept. 26, he'll be doing it wearing sneakers instead of a lab coat. That's because Schilsky will step out of his Greenwich office and join hundreds of others for the American Liver Foundation's Liver Life Walk in Stamford.

“During a critical time in my education, I received an award from the American Liver Foundation to continue my research,” said Schilsky in his Yale-New Haven Hospital office. He is Yale's medical director of transplant hepatology and maintains offices in Greenwich and Danbury.

In the back of the Yale office is a small and simple library that once belonged to Dr. Gerald Klatskin. Klatskin, certified in 1940, was an early authority in modern medicine on the liver, and maintained one of the largest collections of liver biopsy slides the world has ever seen. Schilsky and his colleagues have inherited that legacy.

“The Liver Walk helps increase awareness but it also raises money to support patient education, physician education and to fund awards to help support research and care,” Schilsky said. Teaching people about liver health before they have an issue is important to Schilsky. Even after problems develop, with the right guidance and information a patient can avert the need for surgery.

The liver is a resilient organ, virtually unparalleled in its ability to regenerate under normal conditions.

Schilsky noted some of that research includes new drugs due out in the spring that promise to significantly improve treatment for Hepatitis C, one of the primary causes of severe liver damage. He said they show a 20 percent increase in eradication of the virus.

The Stamford Liver Life Walk will be the first in that community, though the Connecticut Chapter of the American Liver Foundation has earned the honor of being the top-grossing Liver Walk sponsor for the last two years. More than 20,000 people participate nationwide. The Stamford event will start at Cove Island Park, Sunday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. To register or for more information, call Marla Hannah Sadler at (203) 234-2022.

The American Liver Foundation CT Division and the Liver Life Walk have joined Main Street Connect by purchasing an annual visibility package.

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