Riveting Story About Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease to Debut on WQED-TV

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Local Nonprofit NASH kNOWledge Produces Documentary Film, “Silent Epidemic: the liver disease NASH” to Raise Awareness of Fatty Liver Disease, a Growing Public Health Crisis

“This documentary is a great way to help raise awareness of this disease that is getting such little attention yet affecting so many."

WQED-TV Pittsburgh (Channel 13) to air the first public television viewing of “Silent Epidemic: the liver disease NASH” on Monday, December 2nd, at 7:30pm EST. The film is intended to educate the public and raise awareness of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), told through the eyes of patients, their medical teams and caregivers.

“Silent Epidemic: the liver disease NASH” was the brainchild of local man and NASH kNOWledge President & Founder, Tony Villiotti, who received a life-saving liver transplant following an arduous journey that started with a simple fatty liver diagnosis that progressed to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Villiotti teamed with The Videohouse and award-winning film director Susan Brozek Scott to produce the film, intending to help others prevent a similar fate.

“I feel that I was blessed with the gift of life and I can’t just take that for granted,” said Villiotti. “I was compelled to share my story and hopefully help others understand the seriousness of a fatty liver diagnosis. As I reflected on my experience, I realized that I had nine years where I could have reversed the damage had I been given the appropriate information and resources, and unfortunately my story is all too common.”

The documentary captures the emotional and riveting tales of Villiotti, his family and medical team, as well as other NASH patients to add a personal vantage point to a liver disease that is growing at epidemic rates but is receiving very little attention.

“I feel fortunate to be part of the team helping to make Tony’s dream a reality,” said Brozek Scott. “This documentary is a great way to help raise awareness of this disease that is getting such little attention yet affecting so many. I hope Tony’s story and those of the others in the film will resonate with many and be the start of getting NAFLD and NASH the attention it needs.”

100 million Americans are estimated to have NAFLD, which represents 30-40 percent of the US population. Of those, up to 25 million have NASH which is a severe form of NAFLD where a buildup of fat in the liver damages liver cells and the liver becomes inflamed and may progress to scarring and liver cirrhosis. Cases of NASH are rapidly increasing in parallel with diabetes and obesity and its prevalence is expected to increase by over 60 percent by 2030. Children are not immune, and it is estimated that up to 10 percent of children have a fatty liver, largely due to obesity.

NASH is known as the “silent epidemic,” since its symptoms are not overt and it currently requires invasive biopsy for diagnostic confirmation. NASH is expected to become the #1 cause of liver transplant by 2020 in the United States, and its prevalence is projected to increase globally in association with obesity and type 2 diabetes. NASH is poorly-known, under-diagnosed, and as such represents a growing global public health issue in most countries worldwide.

About NASH kNOWledge

NASH kNOWledge is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, United States. NASH kNOWledge was established to increase public awareness of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The target audience for NASH kNOWledge is the general public and those newly diagnosed with NAFLD or NASH.

For more information on NASH kNOWledge, visit or http://www.nash-now.org, Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NASHkNOWledge

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Gina Madison
since: 03/2019
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