Letters of Hope Screening
Letters of Hope is a 12-part docuseries, created, co-produced by, and featuring Valen Keefer, a double organ transplant recipient. Being a transplant recipient is a lifelong and transformative journey. Valen’s Letters of Hope are presented to the community in an honest, vulnerable, and conversational way. Each segment focuses on an important topic from diagnosis to post-transplant care. She addresses topics that aren’t discussed often in the transplant community like mental health, what it is like to live on the waitlist, caregivers, dating, family planning, finding your voice, advocating for yourself, and more.Valen shares the valuable lessons and surprising insights she’s learned throughout her lifetime of chronic illness that have helped her endure and navigate her path to and through kidney and liver transplantation. Now, her greatest wish is that her stories will help educate and empower you on your journey. Webinar Speakers Valen KeeferGuest Speaker: www.valenkeefer.com
At 40 years old, Valen has spent half of her life as a transplant recipient. Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) at the age of 10, Valen needed a kidney transplant at 19 and a new liver at 35. Her experience navigating her health challenges with limited support and resources led her to become a passionate patient advocate for the past 20 years. Valen is a respected voice in the PKD, organ donation community, and beyond.Valen strives to educate industry and clinicians on the post-transplant needs of recipients, raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, elevate kidney health, and offer hope to chronically ill patients. By sharing her firsthand experiences and creating the resources she wishes she had, Valen has educated millions, helped exemplify the transformative impact of transplantation, and inspires many past her own communities and causes. Her commitment to making the voice of the kidney and transplant community heard has become a beacon of hope. Emily R. Perito, MD, MASLiver specialist, Pancreas specialist, Gastroenterologist @UCSF Health, Transplant Services
Her expertise includes liver transplantation, and she serves as associate medical director of UCSF's multidisciplinary pediatric liver transplant team. She also co-directs the UCSF Pancreas Program for children. Perito's research focuses on children awaiting liver transplant, looking at how to improve access to transplant, organ allocation and waiting list outcomes. She works with the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation on making post-transplant immunosuppression more efficient and less difficult for children. She leads UCSF's work in multicenter trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, including an international study on pancreatitis in children and adolescents. Her work on chronic pancreatitis includes research on pain management, opioid use and outcomes after total pancreatectomy with islet auto transplantation (an innovative procedure in which a patient's ability to produce insulin can be preserved despite removal of the pancreas).