Monday, May 4, 2009

Fundraising for National Kidney Foundation Walk-a-Thon

Dear Friends:

I ask for a few moments of your time to read this note depicting how organ donation has personally affected me and my family.

My mom is from a large family. She is one of ten children. One of her younger brothers, my Uncle Tom, was diagnosed with Kidney Disease when he was very young. He began dialysis when he was a teen. By Gods grace he was a candidate for a kidney transplant. Sadly as one family suffered the loss of a loved one, my uncle had the chance at life again. He received his first transplant but it was without success. His body rejected it. Again, by Gods grace, he was able to receive a second transplant, but much to the eveyone's dismay, his body again rejected the kidney. Finally, after years passed he was ready to try a third time for a transplant. This time was different.

With changes in medicine came the news that my mom would be able to donate her kidney to her brother. After testing to verify she was a match they went ahead and did the transplant. For the first time in many, many, many years my Uncle Tom was able to walk out of the hospital with a working kidney and without the need for dialysis. That transplant took place in May of 1991. As is all too common for people who need dialysis, Toms heart had worked too hard for too long and just under 3 years after the successful transplant a heart attack took his life. If you ask my mom today if she would have done anything different knowing the outcome she would smile and say, "no way!" Those 3 years were the best 3 years of Tom's life since becoming ill and she would never take that back for even a moment.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Last year my mom started Team Thomas. A team established to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation. We had a good turnout for the walk and raised a good amount of money. Amazingly it is that time of year again. On May 17th I will be walking as a part of Team Thomas. I am asking for your support.

There are three ways you can help:
1) If you haven't already done so, please consider becoming an organ donor. If you do choose to donate your organs, please share that information with your loved ones and also register with your state (if it is required).
2) If you live in or around the Muskegon area and would like to join Team Thomas for a lovely walk around Pere Marquette, let me know! I can get you a form and you can start raising funds too. I would love to have you there.
3) If you are able to do so, please consider financially supporting me. Every $1 counts. If every person who reads this donated even just $5, I would easily meet my goal of $500. You can donate directly on the National Kidney Foundation website. If you would prefer to send me a check, let me know and I will provide you with my address.

Here are the steps to do so:
3) Search by my first and last name in Michigan (email me or leave a comment if you have problems)
the rest should be self explanatory.

Thank you so much for taking time to read this and for your consideration in joining the team or sponsoring me on my walk.

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