|Charles Scholz and his granddaughter, after his transplant.|
Charles “Chuck” Scholz, 62, of Quincy, Illinois, has always been an active member of his community and served as the town’s mayor for three terms, from 1993 to 2005. After receiving a liver transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in early 2015, his community involvement has focused on a specific cause: spreading the word about the lifesaving power of organ donation.
Scholz’s liver problems began in 2006, when he was considering a candidacy for the Illinois House of Representatives. He felt uncharacteristically run down, which he initially attributed to campaign stress. “I’m usually full of energy. I run a law firm with one of my sons and golf regularly,” says Scholz. “But I felt weak and couldn’t do those things. I just wasn’t myself.”
His primary care physician in Quincy referred him to Jeffrey Crippin, MD, medical director of liver transplantation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, who diagnosed Scholz with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. This disease affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans and is characterized by fat in the liver and inflammation. It’s often called the “silent” liver disease because its symptoms can be minimal to nonexistent. Continue reading