When Life Gives You Lemons, Go Golfing

Adam with Anthony and friend on the golf course

The unique bond that characterises Adam Fine and Anthony Eden’s friendship dates back over two decades to when the two men were in elementary school. As is often the case, their lives took them in different directions upon graduation from university. Anthony pursued a career in law and went on to become a successful lawyer with Vancouver law firm Hart Legal. Adam moved to San Francisco where he worked in the field of software sales. As fate would have it, the two reconnected at the height of Adam’s struggle with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC).

At 27 years old, Adam was diagnosed with PSC, a degenerative disease of the bile ducts where the only treatment is a liver transplant. Medication can buy time, but in Adam’s case, the disease’s progression was rampant. In the fall of 2017, just a year-and-a-half after being diagnosed, he was in desperate need of a new liver. It came as a shock to Anthony that his childhood friend was so sick and facing imminent death without a transplant, “Looking back to high school, Adam was the last person I would have thought would need a liver transplant. He was always so energetic and enthusiastic towards life.”

Adam with his parents, shortly after receiving his new liver

The wait for a donor organ was agonizing for Adam and his family. His health was on a downward spiral and no one knew if a liver would arrive in time. He credits the unyielding support from all his friends and family with keeping his spirits high and not letting despair take over, “Perhaps the silver lining of facing death and combating illness is becoming closer with people you care about.”

The skill and care shown by his transplant team gave Adam the confidence he needed to remain positive during some very low points, “It was extremely reassuring to know that everybody responsible for my health cared about me and was working tirelessly to ensure I would be brought back to health. The entire team was, and continues to be, professional, diligent, and compassionate.” Anthony was also a key support in helping Adam cope with the stress of waiting. The two men often took to the golf course for a reprieve. Golf was a way for the two to connect and focus on something other than being ill.

Luckily for Adam, six months after being listed for a transplant, he received the call that a liver was available. Enjoying his renewed health, Adam describes life post-transplant as euphoric. The relentless fatigue and weakness that plagued him for so long has been replaced by boundless energy and a passion for making the most of his second chance. This includes the desire to make a positive contribution to the transplant community. The perfect opportunity presented itself when Anthony approached Adam and asked if he could host a charity golf tournament in his honor. Watching all that his friend has gone through has had a major impact on Anthony, “Adam’s transplant has shown me how fragile we all are and how indiscriminate our health can be. Seeing how Adam persevered through the process with a light and confident attitude made me respect Adam quite a bit. For him to have gone through what he did without complaint is something that should be commended.”

In July, Anthony made his vision a reality and hosted a golf tournament at the Queen Elizabeth Park Pitch and Putt to support the Transplant Research Foundation of BC. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, they raised thousands of dollars for transplant research. Adam is hopeful researchers will find a better way to combat rejection without the challenges of immunosuppression medication. With that goal in mind, the two friends plan to make their tournament an annual event. Make sure you join them next summer!

Adam with Anthony and his fiancee

Aaron, Addison and Kirsti from TRFBC with Anthony