Becoming a kidney donor was not easy, but in the end, it was all worth it

Calve Milligan at the 2016 Kidney Walk

For Calve Milligan, a LogistiCare employee, watching his mother endure long hours in the dialysis chair was difficult.  “My mother suffered from diabetes most of her adult life. In 2010, her doctor notified her that her kidneys were failing. My brothers and I were incredibly saddened by the news, because kidney failure would mean she would have to receive dialysis treatment at least 3 days a week for 4 hours a day, which can be very a grueling process. Our worst fears had come to life when in August of 2012 my mother’s kidneys completely failed and she had to begin dialysis treatments.

Although I knew my mother would need a kidney donation to no longer need dialysis, I was not mentally prepared to consider myself. We continued to wait for a donor, as no matches came about. I knew my mother secretly had hoped for her children to be able to help her, but she didn’t want to burden us. But the pressure was too much, and she told my brother that she felt like giving up. At that point I thought to myself, there’s no way we should lose our mother without at least being tested to see if we were candidates to donate our kidney.

In early 2015, my brothers and I scheduled a visit to Montefiore Hospital for the 3 of us to be tested. Although, we all were a match, I was the closest match and most mentally ready to go through with the process and the surgery. They ran multiple tests and evaluations to make sure that I was not only physically ready but mentally ready as well. The journey to be a kidney transplant donor was not an easy one, but in the end, it was all worth it to see my mother living her life free of a dialysis schedule.”

Calve joined LogistiCare’s Kidney Walk team and personally raised $5,000 toward the team goal in honor of his mom. The company’s commitment to the National Kidney Foundation and helping people fight kidney disease is rooted in its core mission, to enrich healthcare communities and improve lives. Each year, LogistiCare enables more than 13 million trips to dialysis centers – some 20 percent of the nearly 70 million healthcare trips it manages annually for private, commercial and government-assisted riders.

“All of us at LogistiCare are honored to join the fight against kidney disease and represent the very members we serve across the country,” said Gregg Bryars, senior vice president of operations at LogistiCare, who also serves as the National Captain for Team LogistiCare. “We find that supporting this community and doing something larger than ourselves has created a strong culture of teamwork and service throughout our organization.”

Bryars said 2017 plans include continuing to educate the company’s 4,000 associates and their families about kidney disease, participating in the Kidney Walks across the country and fundraising throughout its fourth year as a corporate supporter.

In 2016, through a national initiative and partnership with NKF, LogistiCare employees fundraised more than $130,000, making them the first National Team to fundraise more than $100,000 for NKF in one year through Kidney Walk events.

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Philly’s Native Hip Hop Artist, Freeway, Walks With Purpose

More than 3,500 people took a lifesaving step in the fight against kidney disease by participating in the National Kidney Foundation’s 14th Annual Kidney Walk on October 11th. This year’s Kidney Walk was hosted by former Roc-A-Fella Records artist and Philadelphia native MC, Freeway.

Freeway Ribbon Cutting

“My experience at the 14th Annual Kidney Walk was wonderful and the love I received from the people was breathtaking,” said Freeway. “I feel as though it’s important to educate people on early detection of kidney disease and awareness. I will continue to spread the message and I am looking forward to more events like this.”

Last month, without warning, the 37-year-old State Property MC and North Philadelphia native was diagnosed with kidney failure.

“I had a routine physical with my primary care doctor,” Freeway said. “The next week, I got a call from my doctor who told me to get to the closest emergency room because my kidney levels were off. My kidneys were failing and I didn’t even realize it. I was in tears trying to understand it all.”

Freeway is committed to raising awareness of kidney disease and ensuring Philadelphians stay on top of their kidney health.

Team Freedom Fighters

Team Philadelphia Freedom Fighters

The event, held at the Philadelphia Art Museum raised more than $400,000 to help fund awareness, prevention and treatment programs aimed at bettering the lives of kidney patients, their families and those at risk.

For more information or to participate in a Kidney Walk near you, visit www.kidneywalk.org. To learn more about kidney disease, risk factors and ways to protect your kidneys, visit, www.kidney.org.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. Learn more about kidney disease and the Kidney Walk at www.kidneywalk.org.

View footage from NBC10 of Freeway at the Philadelphia Kidney Walk here: Rapper Freeway Raises Kidney Disease Awareness at Philly Kidney Walk

Kidneys are the coolest!

Kidneys are the coolest! Healthy kidneys clean out toxins, keep blood pressure under control and make strong bones. They also make pee. And who better to sing about the importance of having a pee test than these lovable kidneys? Watch the video and share it with everyone you care about.

https://youtu.be/y165Gv_SBd4

Learn more about urine and kidney health at EverybodyPees.org. Any questions, please contact everybodypees@kidney.org

Life Changing Kidney Donation for Donor and Recipient

r-LI_Chris(Huntington Station, NY) – Receiving a kidney transplant gives those with kidney failure a second chance at life, but you rarely hear how those that donate their kidneys also have their lives forever changed.

Chris M., 38, from Huntington Station, NY, knew his life would go on a different path the moment he heard that his best friend’s kidneys were starting to fail.

“The day he told me he was going to start dialysis, I picked up the phone and called the hospital to see if I could be a donor,” Chris said.

Chris, who has worked as a Hip Hop DJ and On-Air Personality for Sirus XM and groups such as Naughty by Nature, was suddenly thrust into a new world of tests, physicals, nurses and medical jargon. Eventually, it was determined that Chris was a perfect match for his friend. Nine months after his first call to the hospital, Chris donated his kidney.

“I was the only person to get tested and I was a match,” Chris said. “The thing I remember most happened just before the surgery; I met a man who had been waiting four years for a kidney. He had tested with six family members and 20 other people and no one was ever a match. That made me realize how lucky we were. “

The ability to give his friend a new life profoundly changed Chris’ own outlook. He started volunteering with the National Kidney Foundation to talk with potential donors and recipients about living donation. He also started school again hoping to become a nurse.

“It has made me see things differently. I feel like I can do more,” Chris said. “I feel I have a type of compassion that I can share in a meaningful way with people.”

As part of his outreach efforts, Chris shares his story with hundreds who attend the Long Island Kidney Walk.

“I enjoy walks because it’s important to let people know about living donation,” Chris said. “It’s a beautiful thing, you just have to find the courage to do it.”

 

Alli’s Army is walking…are you?

Written by Alli, a 2014 National Kidney Walk Ambassador

Hi everyone! I hope your summer is going just as well as mine. As kidney walk season approaches, I want to remind you to sign up for your local kidney walk! As your National Ambassador, I will be participating and talking at the 2014 NYC Kidney Walk on November 9th.  If you would like to join my team visit http://www.KidneyWalk.org and search for ALLI’S ARMY.

Moreover, as summer is already half way over and we are approaching the hottest month of the year, don’t forget to drink tons of water and keep up with your diet! I have been feeling great and have kept up with my diet and exercise, so remember follow your doctor’s orders because they truly are life savors in the situation we are all in. Next time, I will be talking about back to school de-stressors (as I will finally be a SENIOR) that you can do to help your children with their chronic medical conditions.  If you would like to contact me please post here and have a great rest of your summer!

Meet Danny…

Written by Danny, a 2014 Kidney Walk National Ambassador. 

 IMG_1298I’m Daniel, twelve years old, born in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan and I have Chronic Kidney Disease.

Even before I was born, the doctors saw a potential problem with my right kidney during a routine ultrasound. My mom had to have a lot of ultrasounds so the doctors could keep an eye on things. Right after I was born, the doctors checked me out, did an ultrasound on me, and gave me the all clear. Everyone thought I was healthy and had two normal kidneys. That lasted for seven weeks.IMG_1330

It turns out that the tube extending from my right kidney to my bladder was bent – really bent. Tied up in knots kind of bent. As a result, my right kidney didn’t work at all and the damage had an effect on my left kidney as well. My left kidney is just too small to do all the work it is going to need to do to keep me healthy as I grow. I have to keep a habit of drinking more than the average amount of water per day, and I go to the University of Michigan Children’s Hospital for blood draws and clinic visits every few months. I also get an injection every evening of growth hormones so that I will grow like other kids. I know that I am going to need a new kidney one day but my parents are making sure that I get to have a normal childhood – I even went to sleep away camp for an entire month! The nurses took great care of me and, except for the contact sports I got to participate in all the activities.

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Shortly after the diagnosis, my mother learned of the National Kidney Foundation, and its local branch, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. I have taken part in the Detroit Kidney Walk since the age of three but only began fundraising outside of my immediate family three years ago – my parents thought it was importan t that I understand the value of money before asking others to donate. In the last few years my family, friends, and even strangers have helped me raise over $25,000 to help kids and adults like me everywhere.

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Stay tuned in for more blog posts written by Danny throughout the the year.P1000251


HP Tops Kidney Walk Fundraising in 2014!

HP (2)
Hewlett-Packard (HP) employees have redefined what it means to make a difference by becoming the top corporate Kidney Walk team for the second consecutive year.

In May and June, over 200 HP staff and family members registered for the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Kidney Walks and together raised more than $52,000 to support the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. Their hard work fighting kidney disease in the Bay Area has set the bar for corporate walk teams across the nation.

HP (1)“The amount of support and enthusiasm that our HP team generated was beyond
my wildest imagination, and it reminded me why I am so proud to work for this company,” said Rebecca Gelenberg, organizer of HP’s 2014 walk efforts. “The employees here truly believe in making an impact in their communities and everyone was so willing to give their time and their money to this important cause.”

For the second year in a row, Team 3Par, a division within HP led by Dan Dias and Dolores Montano, led the pack in fundraising. 3Par successfully raised over $22,000.  Not only did they raise a huge amount of money but they showed up in force with 68 walkers. Independent of employee efforts, HP also contributed $10,000 as a Platinum Sponsor for the Silicon Valley Kidney Walk.

Last year, HP took up the kidney disease cause with gusto, surpassing the previous $35,000 corporate walk fundraising record, while HP CEO Meg Whitman and HP Board Member Ann Livermore were honored as the Bay Area Corporate Walk Chairs. Livermore has a personal connection to kidney disease — she received a kidney transplant in 2005 and has been an advocate for organ donation and kidney disease awareness.

“It’s great to see HP employees build on the momentum and really understand why this is such an important public health issue in our country,” said Livermore, a former HP Executive Vice President. “As a company, HP pledges to Make it Matter. It’s impressive to see HP employees live up to that motto by making a difference in the lives of kidney patients in our community.”

In California alone, more than 55,000 people receive dialysis treatment for kidney failure and 18,000 are on the waiting list for a life-saving kidney transplant. It is estimated that 1 in 9 Californians have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because symptoms usually appear late in the disease’s progression.

HP (3)“Many of us were shocked to learn how prevalent kidney disease is and how many people are impacted either personally or through friends and family,” said Rebecca. “We are proud to get the word out, and to represent the mission of the National Kidney Foundation. The work that they do is so important to our communities, and it is an honor to support them.”