On Wednesday, October 22nd the American Kidney Fund celebrated its sixth annual elliptical national gala, The Hope Affair, at the Andrew W. Mellow Auditorium. This year’s gala, themed “Sharing the Journey,” was emceed by Emmy-award winning anchor, Shawn Yancy, with performances by Afro Blue, Howard University’s Premier Jazz Ensemble, and Frazier. Joined by members of the renal community, the American Kidney Fund recognized three remarkable individuals at The Hope Affair: the Calendar Kid Cover Artist, the Hero of Hope, and the Caregiver of the Year.
Madison Gordon, an 18 year old dialysis patient from Sultan, Washington, was honored as the 2015 Calendar Kid Cover Artist. Madison’s winning artwork, titled “Love Life,” was inspired by a particularly tough day at dialysis. She was comforted to see that her dialysis tubing had formed itself into the shape of a heart, and she captured the image in her artwork.
Meshia Adams of Woodbridge, Virginia, a transplant patient, was awarded the sole Hero of Hope award for her dedication to advocating for kidney disease awareness and supporting patients throughout her community. Meshia’s experience with kidney disease encouraged her to create Meshia’s Hope, a website dedicated to educating patients and those who may be at risk for kidney disease.
Keith McDonald of Sayreville, New Jersey, was honored as the Caregiver of the Year for working tirelessly at two jobs while taking care of his wife who is undergoing dialysis treatments. Keith is the primary caregiver for his wife who has had kidney disease for over eight years.
The annual event brings the renal community together to review the last year, raise funds to support the programs and services of the American Kidney Fund. As the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States, kidney disease affects an estimated 31 million Americans, with millions more at risk.
Learn more about the American Kidney Fund.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a platform for profiling people who "make it happen" in the Capital region, reviews & topical blog posts. She launched Punch Enterprises, a connector consulting business in 2015 and Pacific Punch based in LA, in 2012. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, VA. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.