Day-long music festival at Roxian Theatre promotes living-donor liver transplants | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Day-long music festival at Roxian Theatre promotes living-donor liver transplants 

click to enlarge Sara Booz and Marylou Hunt - PHOTO: SARA BOOZ
  • Photo: Sara Booz
  • Sara Booz and Marylou Hunt
On August 18, Sara Booz and Marylou Hunt celebrated an unlikely four-month anniversary. They were commemorating the day that "[Booz] let herself be cut open, and gave [Hunt] part of her body,” explained Hunt in a video on Facebook.

“Not a big deal, it’s fine,” continued Booz. “I think that day will be special every month, every time on the 18th, we’ll think of it.”

In April, Booz donated her liver to Hunt as a part of a live liver transplant at UPMC Presbyterian. During a living-donor liver transplant, a healthy adult can donate a portion of their liver to someone with end-stage liver disease. Following the transplant, the donor's liver will regenerate in a few months.

The pair came in contact after Hunt's husband — renowned Pittsburgh musician Jack Hunt, aka Johnny Angel of Johnny Angel and the Halos — put out a call on social media looking for a donor last October. Then, in February of this year, Booz stepped up to the task and donated a piece of her liver to save a life.

Now Angel and his family are celebrating with a one-day, community and family-oriented music festival at the Roxian Theatre on Sat., Aug. 24 from 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

Sponsored by UPMC and in partnership with Community Liver Alliance, the event, named The Ultimate Liver Function, will feature performances from Larga Veda, Byron Nash, Jess Klein and the Good Time, Tom Kurlander, Johnny Angel and the Halos, and more. Along with the music will be food and activities for all ages.

“This event is part of a mission for our team to help the live donor program and squash the stigmas of liver disease,” says Rachael Rennebeck, co-owner of YaJagoff Media (event organizers) and daughter of Jack and Marylou Hunt. “But personally, it’s a celebration and rebirth of my mom thanks to Sara Booz. Living donors give new meaning to a second chance. It is simply life-changing for all involved and we want to share that at The Ultimate Liver Function.”

Tickets and more information can be found here. Each ticket is $50 with specialty seating options available for an increased price.

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