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Friday, May 1, 2009

AsianWeek: "Do you LIVERight?"

May 1, 2009

5K Run/Walk to Raise Awareness of Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer

1 in 10 Asian Americans is chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus that causes 80% of all liver cancer deaths - and 2 out of 3 don’t even know that they are infected.

San Francisco - April 27, 2009 - San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Park is once again playing host to one of the world’s only large-scale Asian American specific awareness events - LIVERight 2009. Taking place May 2nd in Lindley Meadow of Golden Gate National Park, LIVERight 2009 is a unique 5k run/walk event with a goal of raising awareness and education about the greatest health disparity between Asian Americans and the general population - hepatitis B. Responsible for up to a million annual deaths worldwide, hepatitis B, a vaccine-preventable virus, causes liver cancer and death and infects 1 out of 10 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.

California State Majority Whip Fiona Ma, long-time ally in the fight against hepatitis B, as well as San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu will both be in attendance, helping to kick off the race.

The distressing realities about the prevalence of hepatitis B are being brought into a community-wide discourse, thanks to the efforts of the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University (ALC) and Answer to Cancer Foundation. Dr. Samuel So, director of the ALC, Stanford University professor and leading liver cancer and hepatitis B specialist, calls hepatitis B “the most neglected global epidemic.” Over 350 million people are chronically infected worldwide.

The event hopes to increase awareness in the general public about hepatitis B, and strongly encourage all individuals to get tested for and vaccinated against the virus. Eighty percent of all liver cancer cases are caused by hepatitis B, and most liver cancer cases are rapidly fatal. Fortunately, we have the power to completely eliminate hepatitis B - an effective vaccine was developed over 25 years ago. However, no coherent, large-scale vaccination campaign has yet been orchestrated. The Asian Liver Center is working to fight this neglected epidemic - to bring it into the public discourse so it is no longer neglected, and to work towards eradication so it is no longer an epidemic. Through community education and screening events, the ALC works to protect healthy individuals and identify infected individuals. “One-third of the Chinese population is 19 or under, so you potentially have 350 million unprotected kids,” So declares. “You have to protect the kids.”

LIVERight 2009 is on May 2nd, 2009, from 9am to 12pm, in Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate National Park.

Registration for LIVERight is now open! Families welcome! Please visit http://liver.stanford.edu for more information and to register. Advance registration is $25 for individuals, $20 for team members (a team is 5 or more individuals). Includes a free T-Shirt. Prizes and raffle items include passes to Great America, gift certificates to restaurants, and more!

About LIVERight

LIVERight is a 5K run/walk hosted by the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University and Answer to Cancer with the goal of raising awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer. Hepatitis B causes 80% of all primary liver cancer cases, and is considered the greatest health disparity affecting the Asian/Pacific Islander demographic. As many as 1 in 10 Asian Americans and 1 in 20 of all people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis B. Nearly 1 million infected individuals die every year. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate hepatitis B. LIVERight 2008 attracted over 600 runners and 100 volunteers, and raised over $100,000 to fight liver cancer and hepatitis B.

About the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University

The Asian Liver Center at Stanford University (ALC) is the first non-profit organization in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian Americans. Founded in 1996, the center uses a three-pronged approach towards fighting hepatitis B through outreach & education, advocacy and research. The Asian Liver Center spearheads educational outreach and advocacy efforts in the areas of hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention and treatment, serves as a resource for both the general public and health practitioners, and implements clinical and research programs.

If you would like more information about hepatitis B, the Jade Ribbon Campaign, or the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, please visit http://liver.stanford.edu.

About Answer to Cancer Foundation

The Answer to Cancer run was founded by Adrian Elkins, a 20-year old student at Southern Oregon University who was diagnosed with liver cancer in October 2002. Adrian passed away only eight days after the first annual Answer to Cancer Race on August 11, 2003.

The Answer to Cancer Foundation was created to

1) provide funding and assistance to research-based cancer programs and institutions as well as educationally-focused cancer programs, associations and organizations; 2) garner awareness and public focus on the necessity for cancer research, trials and experiments in developing treatments and an eventually finding a cure for cancer; and, 3) educate the public about screening, high-risk factors and potential preventable measures associated with primary liver cancer.
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