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Help Superhero Julie Justice Get a New Liver

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Julie Justice Superhero needs a new liver asap or she will die. The plight of her liver (well, two livers) began in 1995 when an autoimmune response ravaged her liver and caused it to fail. This bout of hepatitis left her in a coma with friends and family waiting desperately for a liver that was a match. Finally, a 40+-year old man who had suffered a fatal stroke and was an organ donor had a liver that was a match for Julie. Only trouble was that it was a bit too large for Julie's abdomen. They had to trim the liver down and after they transplanted it, a hematoma in Julie's new liver (from the trimming) caused the hepatic vein to collapse. Doctors addressed this by putting a stent in the vein at the base of her heart. This liver worked quite well for Julie from 1995-2017.

At the end of 2017, Julie suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The impact that caused the TBI also caused the stent at the base of Julie's heart to migrate into her aorta. The TBI caused an inflammatory response throughout Julie's body, which prompted her body to attack the transplanted liver, in effect, rejecting it. This has resulted in the liver being damaged beyond repair. The liver is now at the point where it is incapable of regenerating healthy replacement cells. Julie has been in and out of the hospital for procedures that help mitigate the effects of being in end-stage-liver failure and her condition has reached a critical point. Without another liver transplant, Julie does not have long to live. And, the stent that migrated into her aorta makes any transplant wildly complicated. Teams at UNC and Duke have already rejected her as a transplant case due to this complication. Her case is currently under review at Johns Hopkins and UVA. 

**Please note: Julie may be able to accept a partial liver from a living donor. The donor's blood type must be O negative and the donor must be in relatively good health.  Typing and matching are complex and living donations only work in certain circumstances. But, if you or someone you know are interested in learning more, please contact me. **

Julie is an amazing mother to her son, Liam Justice. Liam is 8-years old. Liam is a strong and kind kid. He's a voracious reader, a builder, and an engineer. He likes video games, card trading decks, running fast, graphic novels, space, motors, and costumes. And, he adores his momma. 

Julie is a passionate teacher who has been committed to social justice and equity in education from the time she began her career in education as a middle school teacher to being a professor at Elon University. Her research and teaching has focused primarily on literacy development and literacy education policy. As a professor, she has helped preservice teachers engage critically with literacy practices both in the classroom and in the global community. She loves her work but it is unclear how much she will be able to focus on her work given her current condition.

Julie lives in a lovely house in Burlington, NC. Most of the time, Liam lives with her along with their two cats. Unsure how much longer she'll be able to work, Julie and Liam need your help asap. Money is not the answer to happiness but it goes a LONG way in providing security. And, that's what Julie needs most right now. The trips to UVA and Johns Hopkins to assess Julie's condition and determine whether they'll take her as a transplant candidate are trips that are not covered by insurance. Julie does not have another source of income aside from her salary.  At some point, she will no longer be able to work while she awaits a third liver. She will eventually lose her income and she will ultimately have to go on COBRA or Medicaid. Continuing to care and provide for Liam in their own home is important to Julie. Continuing to receive quality healthcare and search for medical teams that will take a calculated risk in taking Julie on as a transplant candidate are also critical. As this may be the last several months of Julie's life, please consider contributing what you can to help Julie and Liam live it to the absolute fullest. If you want non-monetary suggestions for how to help Julie feel good and have fun despite these horrible circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. 

With gratitude,
Shannon Lundeen
Elon/Burlington friend, colleague, and card-carrying member of the JJ Superhero Fan Club

Organiser and beneficiary

Shannon Lundeen
Burlington, NC
Julie Justice

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