About the Fatty Liver Foundation (FLF)
The Fatty Liver Foundation is the only national, non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to improving the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and support of Americans with fatty liver, NAFLD or NASH through awareness, screening, education and patient outreach. FLF’s goal is to improve the lives of both asymptomatic and diagnosed patients by raising awareness among the general public and medical communities, promoting non-invasive screening methodologies, educating patients, and championing the development of responsive lifestyle support systems for individuals of the growing epidemic of fatty liver disease. FLF was founded in 2017 by NASH patient Wayne Eskridge and his wife and caregiver Rosemary Wickowski, pictured below.
You can read more about Wayne's story here. He remains actively involved in the Foundation, and you can read about the rest of the management team here. For a concise and sharable document about the Foundation, you can download a fact sheet about us here.
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FLF's Key Programs
The NAFLD Screening Fund (NSF)
The NSF is a public-private partnership led by FLF with the goal of generating funding for NAFLD/NASH screening. FLF has started to bring together a multitude of stakeholders, including industry representatives, clinical research organizations, communications companies, other non-profit organizations, and, of course, patients. By creating a pool of resources to encourage preventive screening activities, all stakeholders stand to benefit. Screening more people for NAFLD/NASH is a critical and achievable goal that will help shape the way society engages with our growing burden of noncommunicable diseases. Beyond increasing preventive screening, secondary goals of the NSF include increasing awareness of the silent epidemic, establishing a bigger population for clinical trial recruitment, creation of a safety net ecosystem for ongoing support and care for afflicted individuals. You can download a fact sheet about the NSF here and click here to read more about the initiative.
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Screening for Undiagnosed NAFLD/NASH (SUNN) Studies
One of the main objectives of FLF is to promote screening in asymptomatic individuals. The Foundation has made progress toward this goal through research initiatives called the SUNN studies. SUNN-1 was implemented in Galveston County, TX and successfully screened over 1000 individuals using a FibroScan machine at community locations. The report from SUNN-1 is being published in PLOSOne. You can learn more about the SUNN Studies here and download the SUNN-1 manuscript here. FLF is in the planning and fundraising phase for SUNN-2, which will expand on the tactics and findings of SUNN-1 to screen more people while also connecting them to care and providing support. SUNN-2 will initially return to the Galveston County, TX area covered in SUNN-1, with expansion sites in Waco, TX and the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia area. If you are interested in supporting SUNN-2, please consider making a donation to the NSF.
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The Wellness League
The Wellness League is FLF's digital platform to help empower NAFLD/NASH patients to take charge and manage their lives with regards to routine, diet, exercise, and medication as they fit into their social and occupational activities. The Wellness League platform is scheduled to go live in January 2022 and will help participants track their key metrics (BMI, bloodwork, scans), encourage reduction of risk classification through lifestyle and diet changes, connect to local resources, and learn more about and connect to clinical trial opportunities. The content and frequency of communication on the Wellness League platform will be fully customizable, dependent on both an individual’s disease stage and preferences. Though it is a digital platform, participants in the Wellness League will be supported by real people called Wellness Navigators; some will be embedded in local communities through SUNN-2 and some will be entirely virtual. Wellness Navigators will have strong linkages to the communities from which they come. To learn more about the Wellness League, view and download the flyer here.
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The Liver Friendly Diet
As the only available treatment for NAFLD/NASH currently available is diet and lifestyle change, FLF has designed and promoted the Liver Friendly Diet, accessible here in its entirety. NAFLD/NASH patients are often told by their doctors to lose weight and come back in a few months. Though this seems like straightforward advice, people need more hands on and specific support to be successful in changing their habits. FLF promotes the Liver Friendly Diet as one aspect of the lifestyle change equation, while also encouraging patients to understand that they are really changing their lives forever, not just adopting a temporary diet. The Liver Friendly diet is similar to a Mediterranean diet with some liver-specific recommendations for foods such as extra virgin olive oil and coffee. Click here for a one-page printout of the Liver Friendly diet (great for sticking on your fridge!) and a short fact sheet on how you can get started on loving your liver today.
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FLF Needs Your Support Now!
FLF could not operate without the support of our community. Through donations big and small, we are able to keep our screening programs and patient support initiatives running and expand the services we can offer. To help us keep making progress in the fight against NAFLD/NASH, we need your contribution today!