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Kristen Ryan
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Kristen Ryan

April 2014 was the first time I really ever thought about kidneys. Brennan was 6 weeks old.  Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer, had one kidney removed, was diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Disease, and we were soon told he would need to start dialysis. 

Heads spinning and rapidly researching, we were struck by a characterization that dialysis is a form of “life support” and the average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years.  Dad is living on dialysis for 9 years. 

“Your Dad is still here. This is just another chapter in our story.”

Those were the first words I heard my mom speak on July 14, 2020 (also my birthday), after a call from the operating room delivered the news that transplant could not move forward. 

These words continually run through my head - especially this year, as our family faces a new obstacle from a severe spinal cord compression that has left Dad wheelchair bound (for now). Dad is still here and our story is far from over. Dad’s resilience, determination, patience, self-advocacy, and compassion continues to carry us all on a path of acceptance and recovery. 

Last year, I pivoted life to start a career with the National Kidney Foundation; committed to raising awareness, facilitating professional education and collaboration, advocating for policy change and innovation, advancing Kidney Equity for All, and connecting individuals with support and resources they desperately seek. 

Your generosity continues to move this mission, purpose, and impact forward. 

Please join my family by making a donation toward our goal to raise $13,000 in support of the extraordinary and critical work of the National Kidney Foundation serving Upstate and Western NY. Together, we have shattered the West’s Walkers goals each year - last year raising $11k!  I KNOW we can achieve $13k this year … 13 just so happens to also be Dad’s lucky number. 

I love your kidneys and hope you will too. 

With much love and gratitude,




raised of $10,000 goal

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