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As a bridge between patients and scientists, our own Ann-Marie Richard connects with patients like Jenni Tucker – who was diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis at age 19 – to learn about their experiences with NASH, insights that can help guide research toward patients’ needs.
“At age 19, my life was changed forever,” says Jenni Tucker, after she was diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a disease characterized in part by the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. NASH is heavily influenced by lifestyle—like high-calorie diets and sedentary routines—and is closely linked to patients with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease and, in some cases, genetics. These risk factors can lead to liver swelling, scarring, and worse: “My doctor told me I was about a year away from stage 4, or cirrhosis of the liver,” Jenni says.
With the help of her doctor, Jenni and her family committed to a healthier lifestyle and together lost 150 pounds. After seeing how changes in her diet and activity level affected her health, Jenni now looks forward to being an advocate for NASH helping others. This led her to sit down with Ann-Marie Richard, a scientist whose job as a patient engagement specialist connects her with patients like Jenni. In a letter to Anne-Marie, Jenni outlined her journey with NASH and emphasized the need for more options.