Dedicated to the prevention & early detection of liver disease while providing emotional guidance & support to those affected by death, loss, and grief.
For liver health to take its proper place on the global public health agenda consistent with its prevalence and impact.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
Hi. My name is Ryan Alvarez. Here is my story. I grew up in a Spanish household where mental health was not real and doctor visits were unnecessary. I personally began to notice I was not doing well in July 2018. Luckily, with the support of my fiancé, we spent 4 months in and out of hospitals, but doctors could not pinpoint the source of my illness. That was because there were many factors at hand. All doctors saw was that my liver was failing and possibly it was due to an autoimmune deficiency, or 3 lesions that were growing fast. In November 2018, the hospital I was going to said “We’ve done all we could. I think it’s time for you to go see a specialized Hospital.” Fast forward 6 months later, I now am a liver disease patient at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. They not only have educated me and supported me throughout this journey towards a healthier liver, but I am in the process of getting on the transplant list.
I have made a lot of mistakes which I know have caused this to happen to me.
But at the same time, I can’t dismiss the fact that I grew up in an unhealthy environment. This is not to say, it was their fault. I take full responsibility for what is happening to me. I could have chosen a healthier eating, or drinking habit, and keep my mind/body active. Today, I have given up alcohol, I have a low sodium/no carbohydrates/sugar diet with more fruits and veggies throughout the day. I go to therapy 2x a week and Al Anon 1x a week, I practice sound therapy, and bicycle on the weekends. All this has truly helped my liver, organs and body kick start it’s way to a healthier state. I even have 1 tumor out of 3 disappear which was a huge surprise. My doctors at University Hospital have been by my side since December, working patiently with me and many others who are battling this disease with me.
I know that this does not happen from one day to the next.
This was years of just poor decisions and knowledge. I am hoping that through my experience, I can break the stigma behind liver disease. At the same time, if you or someone you know is battling mental or physical disease, you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to contact us.
Co-Founder, Oh Hello Liver
May 1989 - July 2019
On July 15, 2019, Cynthia made the decision to remove her fiancé, Ryan Alvarez off life support. Cynthia being Ryan's healthcare proxy, remained by his side for 30 days/nights, while he battled end-stage liver disease in the ICU. Today, Cynthia is continuing what they began together a month before his passing. What began as as a way for two people to document their experience as a patient and caregiver, has turned into a passion project for Cynthia. Her hope is for Oh Hello Liver to change the face of liver disease by sharing their story and that of others to bring awareness, hope and healing.
MESSAGE FROM RYAN ALVAREZ
To my deepest love,
If you're reading this, I was too late to correct my wrongs. My liver gave out and I'm no longer with you. I can't express how much I love you and how sorry I am that I let you down. Please forgive me.
Please continue our work in helping those in need. Although I couldn't help myself in time, I can if you allow, live through you. Your passion is too valuable to the world.
Remember you have allowed me to see more clearly than I ever have before. And my time with you over these past 5 years have been the best of my life. I love you.
p.s. they're great guys out there, when you're ready, don't let it slip away, you have my blessing