Amanda and I got dolled up in fancy dresses and spent the evening as Curtis Nelson's guests tonight at Flavors of Minnesota, an annual Twin Cities fundraising event for the American Liver Foundation. A couple hundred well-dressed doctors, scientists, medical engineers, and others with liver-community credentials joined Fergie Frederiksen -- former lead singer of Toto and Hepatitis C survivor-turned-activist -- for a well-choreographed evening of fine food and paired wine. About 20 chefs from the Cities' fine restaurants each hosted a table, where they cooked tableside a unique five-course meal of their own invention. We were lucky to nab the territory of David Fhima, of Saint Paul's Fhima's, who not only charmed us with his gregarious, talkative nature and French accent, but also treated us to a divine feast -- lobster bisque muffin with buttery filet mignon, daikon salad over a smoky mushroomy broth, perfect seared halibut over purple asian sweet potato mash, and, for dessert, playful espresso milkshakes with freshly fried cinnamon donut holes.
I giggled when a cocktail waitress offered me a dollop of paté from the appetizer tray during the early reception. It's poetic, I suppose, to serve liver at a liver foundation event. But then, the bar was hosted, the raffle tickets were full champagne glasses with numbers on the base, and the five wines were free-flowing during dinner, so the hors d'oeuvres weren't the only ironic elements! Yours truly had about a glass worth of various wines, sweet nectar all, but otherwise I was a bastion of will power.
Although Hepatitis is unrelated to Joe's health condition, the issues behind tonight's events certainly hit very close to home, and it was a delight to be there among people who are generously supporting the American Liver Foundation. The group promotes liver health and disease preventions, and has done much to inform people of the 17,000 Americans currently on waiting lists for the live-saving organs they need. Curtis, himself a Hepatitis C survivor, is a tireless supporter of these same causes. For that, and for the seat at his fine table tonight, I am grateful.
In January 2006 I successfully donated half my liver to my brother, Joe. This blog began in November 2005, when I was just a hopeful donor candidate, and continues today as a vehicle for sharing my experience and building community among past, current, and would-be live organ donors and transplant recipients. Thank you for stopping by. All content on this blog, including images and text unless otherwise cited, is copyright (c) 2005-2007, Becky Waller. All rights reserved.
In 2007 I founded the Greatest Gift Foundation, which provides information and support to living organ donors throughout their transplant experience. I'm in Minneapolis, when I'm not traveling the country meeting with transplant teams. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.