November 30, 2011 I walked into Aeolian Hall in London Ontario with my daughter Megan. I was nervous and hoping I could make an impact on an audience of over 100 local residents that are interested in hearing people speak about things they are passionate about. To say that I am passionate about Fatty Liver disease and raising awareness is an understatement.
My own 15 year old daughter has this disease and her life is essentially run by the symptoms.
I run a support group of approximately 200 people on Facebook, an incredible group of members that fight this disease , share their stories, share their successes and challenges on a daily basis. They look to me to be their leader to raise awareness and keep an eye on research. This is not always easy when you are a single working mother with a sick child.
When I first heard about Ignite London I emailed the coordinators with an idea to raise awareness about this epidemic. I wasn’t sure this qualified as an idea to improve London so I was surprised when I received the email that they were interested in my topic and wanted me to present.
Pulling together a presentation that would provide details in 5 minutes with such a large topic was not easy. I created 20 slides with what I felt were the most important messages that people needed to understand about this disease. I submitted the slides and then started thinking about how dry and boring this information would be to deliver. I knew that I needed to make an impact and started talking to friends about how I could deliver a presentation that people would not forget.
The first idea was to get products from the grocery store that actually have fructose in them. Fructose is now proven to cause NAFLD. http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Disease/obesity_0819111234.html
I found so many products with fructose-glucose in them that suprised me. I found baby formula, toddler biscuits, Vegetable juice, Vegetable soup, Healthy yogurt, Bran Cereal, granola bars, snack crackers, the list was endless. My daughter and I worked hard to cover all brand labels to ensure that I could not be sued for telling the truth!
Some facebook friends helped me decide that using a sponge would be a good analogy for a liver. I went to the dollar store and got 3 sponges. I used wall paint to coat 1/4 of one sponge, I soaked another sponge entirely in paint and left one sponge clean. They represented the 3 primary stages of liver disease.
1st no damage and a healthy sponge – 70% of North Americans have this liver and their livers are working hard to remove toxins from the body effectively.
2nd sponge was 1/4 damaged. – 20% of North Americans have this liver and the liver is working overtime and starting to fail at removing toxins from the body.
3rd Sponge was fully damaged – Swollen, Not able to handle toxins. – 10% of North Americans get to this level and this level is the most dangerous for survival.
I took all my props and looked at my slides and realized I really couldn’t match them up and keep the presentation to 5 minutes.
I decided not to use the slides and to just let them run in the background while I talked to the props.
The result is posted below:
I see so many little problems and I will be cleaning this up and creating new slides that fit the props for the next time I do this one!
My next presentation in London will be on being kind to your liver. After that I want to do one to get people thinking about donating healthy foods to the Food Bank!
Onward and Upward I go! Spread this video and help me to raise awareness of this disease!