Marathons Keep My Kidneys Running

By Saran Ganesh

Saran at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

Saran at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

My name is Saran Ganesh and I am a proud supporter of Team Kidney. Earlier this year, I participated in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and now I’m gearing up for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. As a kidney disease patient, I feel it’s important to do what I can to raise awareness and funds for kidney disease. Here is a little bit of my personal story.

I was born in Sri Lanka during the Civil War. My father was killed during the war when he was caught in crossfire. My mother was a very strong woman who raised me, my brother and two sisters without any support from extended family or friends. In 2001, our family was fortunate enough to come to the United States. I went to college and eventually secured an internship at Ford motor company, where a medical checkup is mandatory to become an intern. Three days after the checkup, I received a call from my doctor saying that they found high levels of blood and protein in my urine. I wasn’t even sure what that meant. I went to visit the doctor the next day and learned that I have kidney disease.

After going in and out of hospitals for endless blood and urine tests and MRIs, I was officially diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy. Though I cannot go back in time and change what happened to me, I know that I can live a healthy life. By taking my medications, eating healthy, monitoring my weight and exercising, I can maintain my kidney function. My goal is to keep my kidneys running for a long time to come—and that includes being an active participant in Team Kidney events!

Saran's many medals

Saran’s many medals

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Are You Prepared In the Event of An Emergency? Lessons Learned 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

storm picBack in 2005, the Atlantic hurricane season was the most active in recorded history. The Gulf Coast of the United States experienced devastating effects.

During Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, many dialysis patients and staff had to evacuate their homes.  Homes, dialysis centers and roads were damaged, making it challenging for patients to find care and dialysis treatment. Ninety-four Gulf Coast dialysis centers were closed for one week or more, affecting approximately 5,800 dialysis patients.  In addition, power lines and phone service were impacted, making communication difficult.

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Celebrating A Transplantaversary

Donna and CeceliaMy name:  Donna Tovalin

Donor’s Name:  Cecelia Chmiola

Relationship:  Sister

Date of Transplant:  07/27/2004

On July 26, 2004, my creatine level was at an unGodly level- 9.5.  But on July 28, 2004 it was lowered to 1.0!!  How did this miracle happen??  My sister, Cecelia Chmiola, gave me the gift of life on July 27, 2004!  Since that date, my levels have been normal and I am living life to the fullest!!  Cecelia was my hero then and continues to coach me through life’s ups and downs!  Thank you Cecelia Chmiola for giving me my life back!

You can learn more about living kidney donation here.

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Running for Organ Donation

Sally Matos started running late in life, participating in her first half marathon in 2010 at the age of 52. She fell in love with the sport and quickly began to build up her base and cross races off her list.

While Sally was being rejuvenated by running, her nephew Jason was slowly declining. Jason had been diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) at the age of 14. FSGS causes scarring in the kidneys’ tiny blood vessels that filter waste from the blood. By the time Jason neared his 30th birthday, his kidneys were becoming too scarred to function.

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Transplant Surgeon to Walk 26 Miles for Kidney Disease Awareness

Dr M 2 A kidney transplant surgeon has pledged to walk 26 miles on May 23, 2015, to raise awareness of the 26 million Americans living with kidney disease.

Dr. Charles Modlin, of Shaker Heights, OH, is a transplant surgeon and urologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Since he began practicing in Cleveland in 1993, he has witnessed firsthand the impact of kidney disease.

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Down a Kidney, Running a 10K

Hickey PhotoFor Terence Hickey, 27, the hardest part of donating a kidney was staying off his feet.

“The process itself wasn’t as grueling as I thought it would be, but being so active, it is tough staying in bed,” he said.

On May 30th, Terence will run the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K with his mother, Nora. It’s an amazing feat considering he donated a kidney to his father John less than two months ago.

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NKF Advocates to Appear on ESPN’s E:60

Mike and his family and closest friends at the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community – supporting NKF as their charity of choice

Mike and his family and closest friends at the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community – supporting NKF as their charity of choice

On Tuesday, April 21, the Gallagher family of Erie, PA, will be featured on ESPN2’s E:60, a series that showcases the “Best Stories in Sports”.

Mike Gallagher is a father to six children. He is a former sports broadcaster and has been a National Kidney Foundation (NKF) advocate since he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) four years ago.

“It was a shock being told that I have a disease that there is no cure for,” Mike said.

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