Meet our 2023 National LIVEr Champion – Jackie Pendry
On March 2, 2018, our family learned the phrase “biliary atresia”. It was the beginning of our education, and the teacher was our 2 month old daughter, Jackie. Mom Jenna, Dad Ben, and our family learned that her bile flow was non-existent and that to survive she would require surgery.
In the hands of the amazing practitioners at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, Jackie had a Kasai procedure, an appendectomy, and a Ladd procedure done to restore bile flow from her liver to her small intestine. Shout out to the amazing Dr. G.
Since the day of her diagnosis, we have learned more than we ever thought possible about the power of prayer, of family, of friendship, and of medicine. In the last five years we have watched Jackie grow in to a smart, beautiful, hilarious, and opinionated girl. We have navigated multiple bouts of cholangitis, PICC lines, blood work and daily medicine. We know that every day is a blessing, and that perspective is a heck of a drug.
Jackie is our wonder woman. She is a gymnast, a soccer player, a fearless swimmer, a loving little sister to her brother, Branch, a cheerleader to her parents, a gracious friend. She loves her American Girl dolls (especially Mary Alice), her pink bicycle, the podcast “Pinkalicous”, pink crayons, pink dresses, and occasionally things that are purple.
Our family and friends have never stopped their constant flow of love. It is palatable. This fall, Jackie’s dad Ben and her cousin Kelly are running the Chicago Marathon as a part of the American Liver Foundation team. We’re a team, a family, and a community and the ALF continues to lead the way in helping to build these critical networks of support.
– Ben and Jenna Pendry, parents of Jackie