If you’ve seen movies like “Transformers,” “Barbershop,” and “Baby Boy” then you’ve seen Len Richard in action. After being diagnosed with liver disease in 2009, the trained athlete and former Hollywood stuntman turned stem cell therapy advocate is raising funds and awareness about the benefits of the procedure.
Len tells DNAinfo that when he was 13 years old he became very ill with a high fever. He went to the doctor where they noticed his liver and spleen were enlarged but they could not figure out why so they sent him back home. He returned to the doctor shortly after and ended up spending the entire summer in the hospital.
“They did exploratory abdominal surgery and took a sample of all of my organs. They sent it to the CDC and other labs and came back with nothing,” he said.
It wasn’t until 2008 when he tore his rotator cuff during filming for a movie that things made a turn for the worse. “I had surgery, and the person I was seeing at the time noticed I was losing weight and going to the bathroom a lot,” Richard said. After suffering from diabetic symptoms, weight loss, vision problems and exhaustion, he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called congenital hepatic fibrosis (CHP) in 2009 and was placed on the liver and kidney transplant lists.
Len continues to battle with symptoms—complications connected to the inherited disease that inhibits blood flow in the liver. Although he was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, Len has had the disease since birth.
Len is opting to have stem cell replacement therapy instead of getting liver and kidney transplants.
Prior to being diagnosed with CHP, Len…