Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

November 5, 2013

California teen grateful for second chance at life

BLOOMINGTON – November 22 will be a big day in the Stockton, Calif., household of the Minjarez family.

On that day Marissa Minjarez will celebrate her Sweet Sixteenth birthday, which a few short years ago seemed a milestone this teen would never reach.

Marissa’s parents, John and Hong Minjarez, have been collectively holding their breath about family celebrations and milestones for more than two decades. This family’s transplant journey actually started 22 years ago when their son, Johnathon, was born with a rare genetic disorder called progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 1 (PFIC-1) – the only cure for which is a liver transplant. Johnathon received a cadaver liver at the age of six and has lived a healthy life since.

When Marissa was born Nov. 22, 1997, John and Hong were devastated to hear that their precious baby girl also shared her brother’s diagnosis and his fate. Marissa, too, would require a liver transplant to survive. Her road to transplant, however, has been much more complicated and challenging than Johnathon’s. The onset of PFIC-1 is usually before the age of two, but due to Johnathon’s transplant, Marissa was tested before birth. She was diagnosed with PFIC-1 on the day she was born. As an infant, Marissa struggled with cholestasis (requiring her to live with an external biliary diversion catheter to drain bile from her liver from the age of six months), jaundice, fat malabsorption, failure to thrive and numerous other medical complications. As she grew older, she also suffered from severe itching due to the toxic bile running uncontrolled through her veins.

As she hit her early teen years, Marissa was so weak that she could get out of bed only to use the restroom. She missed her entire freshman year of high school. By the fall of 2011, her parents were told that without a liver transplant, her odds of surviving another two years were grim. Marissa said during a media interview at the time, “I know I am different, but I don’t want to be. I can’t do sports, I can’t take the AP classes that I want to take at school and I can’t go out with my friends. It’s not easy.”

Text Only
News
  • Cards RHP Kelly on DL WASHINGTON -- St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Forn

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-ymca flat rock - pic2 Local retreat mostly unknown around Decatur County ST. PAUL -- Out in the northwest corner of Decatur County lies a place that's largely unknown within the county itself. Oddly enough, this hideaway of natural splendor is anything but secret to the rest of the world. From Spain and Hong Kong they com

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws-gb041814-edc job fair - pic2 Employers, jobseekers, meet at Job Fair GREENSBURG -- Twenty-eight prospective employers attended the annual Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Job Fair Thursday, and plenty of Decatur Countians came out for a look at the work on offer. By 5:15 p.m., in fact,

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Low blood sugar? Grouchy spouses Serious discussions between spouses shouldn't take place on an empty stomach, a study suggests. Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research relea

    April 18, 2014

  • IUPUC student research to be showcased COLUMBUS -- The Office of Student Research will host its fourth annual student research exhibition from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 22. The event will showcase findings from 11 funded projects completed at Indiana University-Purdue University Colum

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-Intl night pic- page 1 Homemakers’ International Night features Indonesia GREENSBURG - Two clubs from the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association collaborated to host International Night recently, where the country of Indonesia was the focus of the evening. The Kitchen Kookies and the Twilighters are the two clubs respons

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR 3 widening with traffic shift NORTH VERNON -- The Indiana Department of Transportation will shift traffic Monday as a second State Road 3 construction project gets underway at North Vernon. The state is widening S.R. 3 from JFK Drive to CR 300 North (at the bypass) to accommodat

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-united fund pic- United Fund considers future community investments GREENSBURG - The Decatur County United Fund plays a significant role in mobilizing the community to develop and maintain resources to meet human needs by supporting programs and services addressing education, income and health in the community. Recen

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb041814-Airport fuel pic- page 1 Airport jet fuel tank gets replacement, upgrade GREENSBURG - The Greensburg Municipal Airport replaced its outdated jet fuel tank with a new, upgraded version Thursday afternoon. The Daily News spoke with Aviation Board Vice President Bill Ernstes to learn more about the new tank and why the airpo

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB138 could level the playing field for victims GREENSBURG -- For New Directions Domestic Abuse Services Center Executive Director Diane Moore, the recent signing of Senate Bill 138 into law by Governor Mike Pence is something akin to a Godsend. According to the 2014 Indiana General Assembly websi

    April 18, 2014