San Carlos Principal Needs Liver Transplant | NBC Bay Area

San Carlos Principal Needs Liver Transplant

Chris Mahoney is one example of the kind of person who is waiting for a liver transplant.



    (Published Friday, March 15, 2013)

    A San Carlos principal is the subject of a desperate effort to find a liver donor. 

    Chris Mahoney is on the UNOS transplant list, but his doctors tell him time is running out.  Mahoney is the principal of San Carlos Charter Learning Center, a charter school on the Peninsula.

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    Mahoney is still on the job running the school. He says he draws positive energy on the job.

    "It’s one of the few places that I’ve ever worked at where I am actually happier at the end of the day than I am at the beginning. Every day just feels so satisfying," Mahoney said.

    He's also a husband, as well as a father to a 3-year-old son.

    "I love my wife and my son and I just want to be there for them for the next forty years and I can’t even think about the alternative so I don’t," Mahoney said.

    Mahoney was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in 2003.  PSC is a rare autoimmune related liver disease where the body’s defenses attack and destroy the liver. 

    Mahoney's case was complicated in 2007 when he was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer. Although that kind of cancer only has a 10 percent chance of survival, he beat the odds and reached a 5-year anniversary of cancer remission earlier this year.

    About that same time, a new medical crisis hit. Doctors told him his liver was failing and his only chance of survival now is a liver transplant. 

    Last March, his doctors gave him only 12 to 18 months to live.

    A live liver donor is also possible, if the person is a good match.

    His friends, family and the entire San Carlos Charter Learning Center community are trying to spread the word in hopes a donor can be found. If you can help, please email

    UNOS facts:

    • 115,177 people are waiting for an organ​
    • 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ​
    • 1 Organ Donor can save up to eight lives