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Northeast Kidney Foundation IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE


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NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION BY CAROL LEFLEUR

The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation is to improve the quality of life of those affected by kidney disease and related conditions, to increase organ donation and to empower those we serve to be effective voices for better healthcare at the local, state and federal levels. Our services are local and include:

• Free publications including “So You are a Dialysis Patient” and our “Renal Exchange Booklet”

• Grants that assist with medical, housing and nutrition needs

• Free school education programs that teach kids about lifelong kidney health • Clinical education • Healthcare advocacy • So much more!

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• Scholarships for young adults affected by kidney disease • Free kidney screenings and risk assessment programs

Our offices are located at: NeKF Headquarters

22 Colvin Avenue Albany, NY 12206 NeKF 95 Allens Creek Road Bldg 1 Suite 323 Rochester NY 14658 NeKF 731 James Street Suite 408 Syracuse NY 14203 www.healthykidneys.org * info@ healthykidneys.org * 800-999-9697 Give us a call today!


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ABOUT NEKF ABOUT THE NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION The Northeast Kidney Foundation formed in Albany in 1974 as a result of a philanthropic gift of the Sperber family, owners of a well-established and popular local retail business. They created the organization for a very personal reason – a short time before their daughter Barbara was to be married, they learned that she was in kidney failure and would need a transplant. Her father became her kidney donor and after life got back to normal, they created the

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organization so that others living with kidney disease would have a support organization they could call upon. Barbara did very well with her Dad’s kidney for 30 years. She would, however, need another transplant. She received her second gift of life in 2002, this time her daughter was her donor. Since the organization’s founding, we have served tens of thousands of patients, family members, caregivers and clinicians. In response to patient need, we expanded our services into

Rochester three years ago. We focus on direct patient support, providing grants that assist with medical, nutrition and housing needs; free screening programs for underserved communities that teach people about risk factors and prevention; patient, community and professional education; and healthcare advocacy. Your support of the NeKF makes an impact at the local level, providing services to your family, neighbors, coworkers and friends right here at home.


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MEET OUR CEO CAROL LAFLEUR MEET OUR CEO Carol LaFleur is the CEO of the Northeast Kidney Foundation, a position she has held since 2002. She came to the organization with a background in fundraising and working with volunteer driven organizations, something she is passionate about. Under her leadership, the Foundation has expanded its geographic reach as well as its programming. A staunch patient advocate, Ms. LaFleur has provided testimony at the state and federal levels on how policy decisions affect patient care. She also testified before the FDA in an effort to bring to market the first medication to treat a rare kidney disorder, with that medication ultimately receiving FDA approval. As a patient advocate, Ms. LaFleur works hard to tell the patient story and to put a face to kidney disease and organ donation. Kidney disease is complex and it does not affect any two individuals the same. She hopes that through the Foundation we can create awareness, provide support to those that need it the most, and make an impact in the

Rochester region. This is something is of particular importance as we deal with a pandemic that has absolutely changed our lives. “The Foundation was created to serve patients. That’s what we do. Whether it’s providing a

become an extended family to those living with kidney disease, and I can think of no better way to serve. In these uncertain times. It’s good to know that we are all in this together and that together we can make a difference.” Ms. LaFleur encourages everyone to become involved with the Foundation. We are always looking for volunteers, supporters, members of the kidney community and others to join us! Call 800-999-9697 for information or email info@healthykidneys. org. You can also contact Julia Yaw in the Rochester area at Julia@healthykidneys. org.

grant to help with a medical, nutrition or housing need, or whether that’s sitting and holding someone hand’s while they try and understand their diagnosis. It is often said that we

Ms. LaFleur resides in Albany with her dog, three cats and her partner, Peter. She has one son and has recently become a grandmother! She will welcome a second grandbaby this fall! She enjoys kayaking and hiking and spending time with her son and his family. A bit of an adventurer, she boasts sky diving, hang gliding, and this fall will attempt white water rafting!

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JULIA YAW Julia Yaw is the Regional Director for the Northeast Kidney Foundation of Rochester and surrounding regions. She is an avid advocate for sibling rights in the foster care and adoption community, organ donation, and is also a transplant patient advocate.

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She enjoys public and motivational speaking, and focuses on several humanitarian efforts. Julia joined the Northeast Kidney Foundation family in 2016, just months before receiving her very own kidney transplant. She has brought tremendous growth to the foundation and its outreach efforts.

Julia looks forward to servicing local and regional sectors and continuing advocacy, education, and services for patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease.


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BEYOND THE SCARS BY JULIA YAW

Last year on NY Organ Enrollment Day, we hosted an event called BEYOND THE SCARS, an art gallery and exhibit highlighting life before and beyond transplant. We didn’t focus entirely on Scars; we focused on life before and after them. We focused on patients still awaiting their life-saving scar or organ transplant; and we focused on patients and living donors who were living life to the fullest after receiving their gift. These scars are gifts. They are beautiful

testimonies of redemption, love and healing power. . . If a picture can tell a thousand words, these scars will carry you to stories that are so profound and miraculous, that you couldn’t help being impacted by seeing them! We dreamed about making a statement with this event- capturing photos that were POWERFUL- each beautifully unique to every individual being photographed- and we think the photographers far exceeded every expectation we had. Thank you to Jason Breese and

Michael Crisafulli for capturing the majority of these images and for contributing photographer Kelly Lemon Photography. Thank you to each and every patient for their contribution and allowing us to feature these beautiful pieces. If you would like to see these images or rent them for a traveling display, or if you are a patient interested in being photographed, contact us today! julia@healthykidneys.org www. healthykidneys.org


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JILL MICHEL Since beginning my career in Finance and Accounting in 2000, I have held progressively senior roles and accumulated 20 years of financial, operational and managerial experience in both large multinational settings as well as within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi before returning to Rochester in late 2018. Thankfully the majority of this time has been spent working in the healthcare sector, which I have found to be significantly more rewarding than my earlier work in pure finance. Upon completing my MBA from the Simon School of Business at the U of R, I joined Fresenius Medical Care, an extremely large MNC who primary business is focused on the full vertical integration of dialysis products, pharmaceuticals and services, and is headquartered in Germany. Here I held various positions beginning in Business Planning and progressively growing to the International Business Development Department. In these roles I was instrumental in using financial information to develop long-term plans for expanding the business through M&A activities as well as large investments in 42

production facilities, world-wide marketing campaigns and other strategic initiatives. This is where I had my first true exposure to creatively pairing business knowledge and principles with clinical needs to further patient well-being. One such project was focused on understanding why peritoneal dialysis was so successful in rural areas of Romania and Turkey

and then expanding this therapy for other patients in countries with vast rural areas. Also during this time I learned of the importance of having a specialized type of dialysis for fragile hospitalized patients which is broadly known as CRRT, and a different therapy than normal hemodialysis which is an outpatient therapy. Here my work was focused on the needs in the majority of European

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countries and how to deliver with a reasonably priced device with a smaller footprint. After a brief period of consulting from the US for IBD while my daughter was born, in 2010 I undertook the role of establishing the business for one of the MSA’s I had worked to establish in conjunction with the government of Abu Dhabi (SEHA Dialysis Services) in the UAE, first as CFO, then as COO. In this capacity I have been responsible for all financial and operational aspects of this Business Entity of SEHA, utilizing my financial experience while honing my skills as an executive manager with a significant number of staff from multiple disciplines reporting to me. Here we were able to make significant improvements in the full scope and progression of kidney disease, from pre-ESRD care and early identification to designing and building the infrastructure for such a vast population of patients in the Middle East. I first started celebrating World Kidney Day in Abu Dhabi, bringing patients and caregivers together with the community to broadly educate in the prevention of kidney disease.


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {FOR A GOOD CAUSE “I first started celebrating World Kidney Day in Abu Dhabi, bringing patients and caregivers together with the community to broadly educate in the prevention of kidney disease.�

Every year there is a slightly different theme and focus area for World Kidney Day, these are relevant to the current state of kidney health and contributing factors such as diabetes and heart disease. So much international work and exposure to other health systems throughout the world has been a wonderful learning experience; however I was keen at that stage of my life and career to return to my hometown of Rochester, giving my daughter the same experiences that I had as a child in this community, while continuing

to develop myself professionally as well as benefiting a reputable organization. In my current role at Unity Dialysis, I have been fortunate to establish a wonderful relationship with the Northeast Kidney Foundation. About a year ago when I was planning a World Kidney Day event for Unity Hospital, I reached out to the NEKF for support in executing our celebration, complete with education and a free screening for indicators of kidney disease. This initial contact has led to a continued partnership between Unity Dialysis and the NEKF, supporting

each other with social work events, education for both patients and staff, and of course the goal which is close to all of our hearts, advocating for the best care and support for our patients while navigating the challenges of providing excellent healthcare in the US given the financial and regulatory constraints. I personally look forward to continuing to overcome these challenges and specifically rise to the occasion of improving transplant rates and preESRD care for patients in Rochester and the surrounding area. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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LAURA TORIBIO OVERSTREET PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Laura Toribio Overstreet, is a Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), board certified by American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, currently working for the Division of Solid Organ Transplantation at the University of Rochester Medical Center, providing multi-organ transplant (kidney- liver and pancreas) services to the Western New York region, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the Southern Tier.

As a volunteer member of the Northeast kidney Foundation (NeKF) committee for Hispanic/Latino support group, Laura’s commitment to her patients and to her community is to educate the public about kidney disease, it’s causes, how to prevent it, how to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and ultimately to provide information on the importance to become an organ donor.

prepares all student assignments, facilitates post-conferences on clinical training, and ensure compliance to all academic course program and evaluates their performance. Laura also shares her knowledge and skills with nurse practitioner students from St. John Fisher College and University of Rochester. She provides academic preparation and shares necessary skills for role development of a nurse practitioner.

Her role is to care for patients who are receiving or donating organs via a transplant surgical procedure from the preparation phase, provides post-operative care and work with a multidisciplinary team to prepare patients for discharge. She also sees patients for concerns such as rejection, infection and follows up on post-surgical procedure and testing. The majority of this job is to educate patients and families about medications, test results, and treatments.

“Education is the cornerstone of success!

As busy as she is, she enjoys taking pictures and long walks with her Fiancée Frank Halpa and dogs Leo and Alice.

As a Transplant Nurse Pr a c t i t i o n e r, L a u r a understands the key components of donor selection and organ allocation in the state of New York. There are over 123,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 101,000 need a kidney, but only 17,000 people receive one each year. Every day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney. Thus, the biggest challenge on organ donation is the lack of organs. Poor education due to limited access on information on becoming an organ donor (living or after death), has been known to be the number one factor as to why people are discouraged to become an organ donor.

Laura has participated in the Rochester Catwalk for Kidneys, besides helping raise funds, the Catwalk has given her the opportunity to “celebrate life” with her family, friends and organ recipients. When someone receives an organ that saves their lives, it is literally getting a second chance to live.

One of my personal goals in nursing has been to help mentor new and emerging nurses to give them the knowledge they need to be successful.” Laura stated and this why she also dedicates her time to share her knowledge and skills with undergraduate and graduate students. She is an adjunct faculty nursing clinical instructor for St. John Fisher College. Laura’s job responsibilities are to educate nursing students in a medical surgical floor. She

“It is always good to see how someone that is really sick return to good health and we all have the power to do so, so yes, become a super hero, pass on life.” “I am excited to be part of the Northeast Kidney Foundation and make a difference here locally. There are so many thing that we can do to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and those waiting for a life-saving transplant. My colleagues and I are anxious to bring resources to the kidney community and encourage everyone affected, and friends, family members and colleagues to join our efforts!” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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EDELMIRA T. ROSENFELD, BSN, RN PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Ambulatory Care Manager Edelmira Rosenfeld normally goes by Edy, and is a bilingual nurse, currently working as an Ambulatory Care Manager for Rochester Regional. Her role is to work closely with other disciplines identifying and managing high risk patient with complex medical diagnosis. In her role, she looks closely for ER and IP visit frequency, discharge disposition rates, readmission rates, and physician appointment attendance for patients. She has the outstanding ability to understand patients’ intrinsic needs in health literacy, socioeconomic and multi-cultural background allowing her to s e r ve p a t i e n t s efficiently. She has close to 20 years of experience as a nurse, having worked in an Emergency room, Trauma, Cardiac, Home Care and as a supervisor nurse. Her passion for transcultural nursing came while working for Home Care Of Rochester as a Case Manager for the Hispanic team and received a 50

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certification for transcultural nursing. Edy poses the ability to recognize and appreciate cultural differences in healthcare values, beliefs, and customs. By doing so it ensure patient satisfaction and positive outcomes during their care. Edy attended Jamestown community

college where she received an Associates of Science in Nursing, then attended Roberts Wesleyan College and received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Edy also attended the Universidad de Panama and has a degree in accounting. She has experience in marketing, networking and public speaking. Besides her medical work,

Edy also worked as an Editor for La Voz, a monthly bilingual publication in Rochester addressing cultural, social, political and health issues in the community. Edy is heavily involved with multicultural events and is the President of Latinos de Corazon (LDC) a not-forprofit organization in Rochester NY with the mission to create awareness and to unify the community through cultural expressions, art and dance. Edy has performed at the Eastman Theater, the Ibero American Action League (IAAL) Gala, St John Fisher University, Nazareth College, Rochester Institute o f Te c h n o l o g y, the University of R o c h e s t e r, t h e City of Rochester Latino Night, the Rochester Puerto Rican Festival and St Michael’s Latino day. She currently a member of the Memorial Art Gallery Hispanic committee where she is the organizer of the Multicultural Fashion show for the Hispanic/Latino Family day. Edy is truly honor to be part of North East Kidney foundation committee for Hispanic/Latino support group


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{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE { SHIFT+CONTROL } } ““Providing a forum for open communication and support is vital for any patient living with a chronic illness. We are excited to bring this resource for the Latino population through the Northeast Kidney Foundation.”

for kidneys. She always looks forward to educate patients and families with Chronic Kidney disease CKD, finding resources and educational materials to improve quality of life. For her it is a duty to educate the community about organ donation. She is excited to be part of the team that will be introducing a support group for the Hispanic population, something that is very needed. “Providing a forum for open communication and support is vital for any patient living with a chronic illness. We are excited to bring this resource for the Latino population through the Northeast

Kidney Foundation. While COVID has challenged us in terms of when we can introduce the support group, we are working hard to have this resource available and look forward to sharing the information when appropriate.” She had walked the Rochester Catwalk for kidney the last two years and plans to do it this fall to continue to “celebrate life” with patients, family and friends of organ donors, recipients’ and living with kidney disease.

Edy is married to Adam Rosenfeld a full time Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserve currently serving as the Battalion Motor Sergeant for the 865th Combat Support Hospital in Niagara Falls. Edy and Adam have 6 children between them ranging in age from 17 to 26 and one 2 year old grandchild. Edy has passed on to her family her love of culture and dance, and family members often join her during performances. On her time off you will usually find her cooking for her family and friends.

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ADAM ROSENFELD PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Staff Sergeant Adam Rosenfeld is a 17 year veteran of both the Navy and Army, currently serving full time in the Army Reserve with the 865th Combat Support Hospital. He has also spent the last 8 years as the Secretary of Latinos de Corazon, a local folkloric dance group and has managed the production of several 54

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galas, military balls, and even planned his own wedding. Adam is married with 3 children, 3 step children, and one grandchild. In his spare time, he enjoys video games, dancing Tango, watching movies, and working on his houses landscaping. Adam is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in

Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University and is looking forward to pursing a career in military logistics management once retired from the Active duty. Adam currently sits on the board of the Northeast Kidney Foundation and serves as the Events Production Manager.


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RICHARD PEREZ PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

CO M M I T T E D TO F E L LOW PATIENTS AND CREATING TOMORROW’S HEROES From being taken in by a loving Rochester family when abandoned in his youth, and a serendipitous career in retail and then financial security, to starting a family with his late wife, Maria, which yielded a son and recently twin grandsons, 63-yearold Webster resident Richard Perez feels blessed by his life in Rochester. A Life-Saving Opportunity A life-saving liver transplant on July 21, 2003, at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital (SMH) would turn out to be among Richard’s greatest blessings. Given a rare second chance at life, he has since embarked on a new mission and purpose—to help educate our community about organ donation and transplant, as well as providing comfort, support and comradery to fellow transplant patients. Even before he received his own transplant, Richard seemed to know, intuitively, that there was a need in Rochester’s Donate Life community—a calling—that he could help fill. “I was sitting across the table from my surgeon, Dr. Mark Orloff, listening to the prognosis, how contingent on and rare that there would be a viable liver available, given that participation in the organ donor registry is so low,” he remembers. “I asked him right then if there was anything I could do to help change that.” So, after his transplant, Richard began volunteering with the Rochester Eye and Tissue Bank, now the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester, educating the public about organ donation and encouraging people to sign up for the Organ Donor Registry at various community events. 56

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“Richard has this ability to make you think about organ donation differently,” says Karen Guarino, communications director at the Lions Eye Bank. “His vibrant enthusiasm for life, his humble and sincere gratitude for his donor, and his donor’s family, touches people in a profound and positive way.” Care and Compassion Grow From Shared Experience By June 2004, while he was busily helping raise awareness and get folks registered as organ donors, he also expanded an official volunteer program with SMH’s Friends of Strong to help comfort and provide comradery to inpatient patients and families who were now experiencing the same transplant journey that he and his family had also travelled. Since then, he’s volunteered more than 5,000 hours at SMH to make their lives just a little more bright. “Richard is always smiling and never down,” says Sandy Arbasak, director of Friends of Strong. “He generates enthusiasm and goodwill with patients, family and staff with every visit.” This program, with Richard leading the charge, now includes at least eight volunteers at any given time—all of whom are fellow organ transplant recipients and uniquely able to provide comfort, hope inspiration to those who face the same daunting obstacles much like they themselves have overcome. Throughout the years, Richard has helped a significant number of the more than 700 liver transplant recipients, 2,000 people who have undergone a transplant evaluation, and innumerable family members who have turned to him for reassurance. They come from all over Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. “These patients must

often wait years for a lifesaving donor organ to become available,” says Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, M.D., director of Solid Organ Transplant at Strong Memorial Hospital. “He knows and understands the patient perspective and he provides a level of reassurance that is different from that of our clinical team members.” A Home Away from Home One of the more remarkable ways Richard has given back to our community was when he secured an apartment—half donated and personally paying the remaining balance—which he then worked with social workers to provide for families to stay near their loved ones while awaiting and recovering from transplant surgery. From 2004 to 2010, more than 105 families from throughout the Rochester region were able to avoid hotel costs or what might have otherwise been a stressful daily commute from outlying areas. Although he no longer provides this donated home-away-fromhome, he now serves as somewhat of an ambassador, connecting families-in-need with Harbor House, which provides that same service in the SMH neighborhood for today’s transplant patient families. Striving for Continued Awareness and Commitment Richard continues volunteering throughout the Rochester area to help bring greater awareness and support for organ donation. He works tirelessly to recruit those he meets to register for the New York State Donate Life Registry, and over the past six years, he has become one of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network’s most stalwart volunteers. According to the organization, which coordinates organ donations at 36 hospitals throughout the Finger Lakes, Central and Northern New York regions,


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {FOR A GOOD CAUSE “He’s pro-active and very innovative with his ideas to improve the patient experience here at Strong, both before and after their organ transplant, and he’s all-encompassing in his compassion for patients, families and their support team.”

the percentage of registered organ donors in our local region has grown from 27 percent to almost 40 percent in the time since Richard joined in their efforts. “This accomplishment can be attributed, in large part, to the hard work of our volunteers—particularly Richard Perez,” says Rob Kochik, executive director of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. His own volunteers witness his dedication on a daily basis. “Richard puts his heart and soul into caring for patients and their families,” says volunteer and organ

recipient Larry Rosner. “He’s pro-active and very innovative with his ideas to improve the patient experience here at Strong, both before and after their organ transplant, and he’s all-encompassing in his compassion for patients, families and their support team.” Most people may not think about or consider the possibility that they or someone they love may one day find themselves in need of a life-saving organ

donation, let alone the personal energy that goes into treatment and healing on the part of the patient and family. For patients and families who find themselves in such a circumstance today, the outlook is a little brighter because of Richard’s kind heart, steady volunteer ethic, and his group of volunteers who are now in place to give guidance, wisdom, or a kind and listening ear from a perspective that few are in a position to provide.

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DR. MATTHEW GROSS PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

When asked to write a few words - I pondered what is our main mission in serving those afflicted by chronic kidney disease (CKD). I concluded that our efforts should always be directed at making life better. I am a nephrologist at Strong Memorial hospital. I am passionate about serving others and I am a strong patient advocate. I am honored to be asked to serve on the Northeast Kidney Foundation board. One of my main efforts will be educating other colleagues about kidney disease and opportunities to advance the care of the ever growing population of patients with CKD. Also -there is a growing need to reach out to the community, to other care providers and to families about opportunities such as kidney transplant and living kidney donation. Cultural barriers and lack of knowledge and understanding regarding transplant and transplant donation are low hanging targets which could greatly impact outcomes of those with advancing CKD. It is hoped that with an increasing presence we can carry out our mission and really improve quality of life. The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation appealed to me because of its emphasis on patients and serving at the local level. While these times are uncertain for sure, there is a great amount of work we can do when we come together and I look forward to making a difference as much as I can!

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KRISTOPHER FERRARA PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Kristopher Ferrara is a husband, father, and supporter of helping others. Kris is 37 years old and has spent most of his life trying to help others. Since 18 years old, he has been a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. Kris has been a paramedic for 8 years and works per diem for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network as an organ procurement coordinator. Kris pours himself whole heartedly into everything that he does. Once he has committed to doing something, he doesn’t let anything stand in the way of him completing that task. Kris is funny, outgoing, and energetic. He is at his best when he is around people and making them comfortable. Whether it is bringing levity to a stressful or hard situation or comforting someone in their time of need in a difficult situation. Kris has a beautiful wife, Daryl, of 13 years, a 9 year old daughter, Gabriella, and a 5 year old son Dominic. Kris and Daryl met while they both worked in the food court of a local shopping mall 19 years ago. In the course of getting to know each other, they realized that they had actually gone to grade school together and that they shared many 62

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mutual friends. After a long courtship, Kris finally won Daryl over and they had a beautiful wedding and started a wonderful little family. Kris and Daryl welcomed their first child Gabriella in July of 2010. It was immediately clear that Gabriella was a small carbon copy of Kris. She has always been energetic, outgoing, and always moving. She is involved in karate and never lets someone

feel left out or picked on. She is always the first one to lend someone a helping hand as well. Four and a half short years later Kris and Daryl rounded out their perfect little family with Dominic. It is just as clear as it was that Gabriella was Kris’ clone as it was obvious that Dominic would be a carbon copy of Daryl. He is the most caring, quite, and tender child. He is shy and enjoys the quiet. He wants nothing more than to

be with his family and be close to them. From a young age Kris has been helping others in his community as a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. It initially started as a way to chase that adrenaline rush by fighting fires or providing rescue service and quickly morphed into a part of Kris’ personality. “I remember while I was still in EMT class when I was 18 and I came upon a motor vehicle accident and the fire department hadn’t arrived yet. I was able to comfort one of the passengers until the fire department arrived and from that time on I knew that I wanted to be that person that came to help people in their time of need.” Kris spends countless hours training and responding to calls with the fire department and while continuing to work part time on the ambulance. Additionally, the fire department raises funds to improve community education and fire prevention services. He worked for multiple ambulance services providing critical care patient services and treatment. While working as a paramedic, he discovered the world of transplant through a mutual co-worker


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“I remember while I was still in EMT class when I was 18 and I came upon a motor vehicle accident and the fire department hadn’t arrived yet. I was able to comfort one of the passengers until the fire department arrived and from that time on I knew that I wanted to be that person that came to help people in their time of need.”

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“Since 18 years old, he has been a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. Kris has been a paramedic for 8 years and works per diem for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network as an organ procurement coordinator. ”

who was a coordinator for the local organ procurement organization. When the opportunity presented itself for Kris to move into the work of transplant, he jumped in with both feet. He currently works full time as an organ procurement coordinator based mostly in Syracuse, while still working in emergency services in his off time. Kris first became involved with the Northeast Kidney Foundation during the 1st annual Catwalk for Kidneys. He was blown away by the dedication that was being put into making this event great and how much passion Julia and Doug Yaw, and Olivia and Jeremy Morgante put into making sure the 66

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show went off without a hitch. Julia and Olivia did a great job of relating what donation meant to them and it struck home with Kris and he immediately approached Julia about getting involved with the foundation. It took another year and another Catwalk for Kidneys event for Kris to really get involved. He was able to help with set up and small things for the show and made some great new friends in the process. Kris and his family got to know Doug and Julia more over the next year and when Julia asked Kris to get more involved with the foundation, he jumped at the opportunity.

When Julia asked Kris to be part of the community advisory committee he couldn’t be happier. Kris is looking forward to use his ability to talk to people and contribute his networking skills. Kris also hopes to bring his love for helping others and community involvement to the Northeast Kidney Foundation amongst educating the communities that we serve about the services that the Northeast Kidney foundation can provide. Kris hopes to be able to use his contacts inside the healthcare and transplant community to make a difference. You can find him on the Catwalk this fall!


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JASON BREESE

Jason Breese of Breese Photo is a wedding and portrait photographer out of Rochester NY, striving to be the world’s okay-est dad, husband, and entrepreneur. As the son of a father in the Air Force, he has moved throughout the country (and world) every 3-4 years, and was able to claim Rochester, NY as his permanent home in 2007. I discovered my passion for photography when my wife and I had our first kid, Joseph, in 2015. I was so madly in love with him that I spent countless hours with Creative Live and YouTube classes so that I could take stunning images of him as he grew in to a young man. 68

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Through that process, I fell in love with creating images of people that tell you who they are, rather than just what they look like. A few years ago I had the opportunity to come on board with the North East Kidney Foundation through a friend, and donor. To be honest, I am shocked by how little I knew about anything related to organ donation. Growing up we never had conversations about those options. I have lost so many friends and family members over the years and it pains me to think about the lives that could have been saved if some of them had donors, or if some of them had been donors.

Awareness is why I am devoting anything I can to this cause. The generosity that is in the heart of a living donor has to be the most admirable thing I have ever witnessed. We have the opportunity to restore hope and give life through living and non-living organ donation and I am truly honored to have a gift that can help create awareness, and shine a light on the everyday ordinary people who have given so much of themselves to save the life of another human! We have an amazing opportunity and responsibility!


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OLIVIA MORGANTE PHOTOS BY JASON BREESE

My story starts about four years ago when I heard that my friend’s body was in crisis. She is a wife and mother, and just 29 years old. A diabetic since childhood and now in need of an emergency triple bypass surgery. We stood by their family’s side throughout her heart surgery and she miraculously pulled through but was still very much aware that the fight for her health wasn’t over yet. Not only was her heart in trouble, but she was also in need of kidney and pancreas transplants. The next step for her body to be restored to health was receiving a kidney. In August of 2016 she was able to meet all the requirements to be placed on the kidney transplant list. It was then that I felt God ask me to step up and be her donor. “Umm, me? God? Are you sure? Remember, I’m the one who is terrified of needles, hates the smells and sounds of hospitals, and has never even given blood because, oh yeah… I’m terrified of needles!?” But, God asked. And with that ask, He gave me an extra dose of bravery. I brought it up with my husband and assured him that I wasn’t going to offer my kidney unless he was completely on board. He responded: “I was wondering when we’d be having this conversation, because I had a feeling you were going to do this.” I realized I didn’t even know my blood type or if I was a suitable donor for her. So, I made a call to my doctor and found out that my blood type is A+. (Which meant nothing at the time because I had no idea what type she was.) 70

So with the full support of my husband and a promise from God that He wouldn’t ask me to do something He hadn’t equipped me to do, I made the call to my friend.

Our surgery was set for November 29th, getting my friend her life saving transplant before needing to go on dialysis.

She answered and I went speechless. (I mean, how exactly does one go about offering ones’ kidney?) But I managed to awkwardly offer up my organ. Then it was she who was speechless.

I answered and heard the voice of my transplant coordinator. They were in the middle of a board meeting to review my case and give me the final stamp of approval. She said that something in my blood work from last week looked off and that they needed me to come to the hospital right away for more blood work. Off I went, confused and anxious about what the hematologist might find. He informed me that he had uncovered some type of platelet disorder and that he could not in good conscience allow me to go through surgery.

It was silent. She said she had never expected to get this call. I nervously asked, “So, what blood type are you?” To which she replied, “I’m A+.” Immediately, I started crying (happy tears). This was just the first of many miracles to come!

But then I got a call.

I was devastated.

I made the call to the URMC Kidney Transplant Program and let them know I was interested in being a donor and the process began.

The doctors asked me to go off of a supplement I was taking and to come back in two months to have my blood work checked again.

Blood work, urinalysis, tissue typing tests, and a two day thorough evaluation at the hospital were all required before continuing in my quest to donate my kidney to my friend. We would anxiously wait for each test result to come back. One by one, all of the results revealed that before the beginning of time, my body was created for this. My kidney function was measuring at double the average person’s. (I believe the term “super kidneys” was used.) And as far as compatibility with my friend, she and I share four matching antigens. In other words, our bodies are more like siblings than those of no blood relation. Miracle after miracle came in and the whole team sat there in awe at how beautifully orchestrated this whole situation was.

Meanwhile, my friend ended up needing to go through dialysis and having to keep up with the rigorous schedule required. Three times a week she found herself at the treatment center for sessions lasting 4 hours or longer.

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Late December I received the call from my kidney transplant coordinator saying that we had been approved by each of the doctors and surgeons involved and we were given a new surgery date of February 8th! The first surgery, the transplant, went perfectly. I was progressing and healing at an average rate and was discharged after a six day stay. But after a few days of being home, battling fatigue and


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{ {FOR A GOOD CAUSE SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Umm, me? God? Are you sure? Remember, I’m the one who is terrified of needles, hates the smells and sounds of hospitals, and has never even given blood because, oh yeah… I’m terrified of needles!?”

nauseousness, I called that Friday to let my team know how I had been feeling. At their request, I returned to the hospital and was immediately admitted into the transplant unit. My surgeon stopped by to see me and ordered for blood work, X-ray, and a CT scan to try and narrow down what could be going wrong. Saturday he returned to say that the CT scan revealed “free air” in my abdomen. The primary concern was that I might have a perforation in my intestines. Prior to surgery, my team had listed off every possible side effect and this was among them. However, I had pretty much always been convinced my surgery would certainly be free of

any complications and hadn’t thought through that this could be a very real possibility. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if there was a perforation, was to reopen my incision and remove my intestines for inspection. I was desperate to stay away from the operating table and together with my team decided to wait 24 hours. Perhaps the symptoms would change. Perhaps there was a different answer. However, the only change in symptoms was a spike in my fever to 103. After another CT scan, my surgeon sat at the end of my bed that Sunday morning. He compassionately and firmly admitted

that he was uncomfortable waiting any longer and that surgery was needed… NOW. He needed to get me into surgery immediately and examine the possibilities. Within fifteen minutes I was headed down to the operating room to get prepped to be opened up, yet again. They used the incision that had just been made twelve days ago and removed and inspected my entire intestine track twice. Miraculously, there were no perforations to be found and they were able to safely close me back up again. We returned back to our hospital room for another six day stay. After being discharged and home for a week, I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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“For three years now I have been left with a physical reminder of the gift that God made me brave enough to give. To some it might look like a five-inch-long scar. But to me, it will forever read: “Great is Your faithfulness.””

returned to the hospital for my one week check up. I met with my surgeon and he said that my incisions look great and that I’m healing up perfectly. He told me that in his twenty years of being a surgeon, I was his first patient he has ever had to reopen for fear of complication. (Aren’t I the lucky one?) I think about all of the pain I’ve had to endure. All of the mental anguish I had to face knowing that I wasn’t just going to need to heal from one surgery, but from two. I think about the complications and hardships we faced throughout this entire six month process leading up to surgery. And I ask myself, knowing all that I know now, would I do it again? Was all of this worth it? And then we ran into my friend who had just finished up a follow-up appointment with her doctor. They had just finished telling her that she is a “rare case to be doing this well”. Her new kidney is functioning at a normal level (which is apparently extremely hard to achieve this soon after transplant). She has lost a total of 19 lbs. She has so much increased energy that she can handle 74

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being up and on her feet for hours at a time with no problem. She is no longer chronically cold- her entire body temperature has changed because there’s increased circulation. Her chronic high blood pressure is now normal without medication. She has been able to eliminate eleven blood pressure medications that she has been needing to take for the past year. And she no longer has to live with

daily pain and fatigue that kept her from being able to live life to its fullest with her husband and four precious little ones. At the end of my appointment my surgeon presented me with the Gift of Life Medal of Honor. It was such a humbling experience as he thanked me for my gift and reminded me just how valuable it was. He went on to explain that over 89,000 people with end stage renal disease (kidney failure) die each year. That

even though dialysis can be a lifesaving treatment, it’s only temporary. That my friend’s life expectancy would have gone down 20% each year she had to remain on dialysis. That most patients only live 5 to 10 years once starting treatment. Hearing him so passionately express these startling statistics reminded me that this was absolutely worth it all. Every single moment of it. That there’s no question in my mind that I’d do it all over again even knowing what I know now. This was literally a life giving experience that I will be forever grateful and humbled by the fact that God asked me to be a part of it. For three years now I have been left with a physical reminder of the gift that God made me brave enough to give. To some it might look like a five-inch-long scar. But to me, it will forever read: “Great is Your faithfulness.”


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BECKY ROFFE MIRACLE OF LIFE My life is full of many miracles...I give God all the Glory. My name is Becky Roffe, I am the second oldest of three sisters. We are all 11 months apart in age therefore we grew up very close, and even having the same friends throughout our lives. With music as my mother’s part time career, she taught us piano but mostly sang four part harmony with my sisters throughout our primary and high school years. We sang at numerous places, Retirement parties, Eastern Star, Weddings, and graduations (including our own) to mention a few. Music and prayer were my coping strategies, through a stormy, troubled and unpredictable childhood. By the age of 26, I had suffered the unimaginable loss of two children; my son Mitchell Ryan and daughter Autumn Lynne, and 2 miscarriages. During this journey I have had many, very close relatives and friends pass away including a nephew and niece which was devestating. At times, my faith was the size of a mustard seed, but I held on to my faith with everything I had... I believed in God’s Promises.

God took my pain and intense grief, and transformed my heart to a deeper level of caring, loving and helping others.... especially children. For 20 years, I worked and nurtured

children in Special Ed, taught Sunday School, four years as a Girl Scout leader, volunteered at Teresa House (a house for end of life care) spent several summers at Genesee Valley Rotary Camp “Here Is

Love” for special needs children. Ive been Blessed to have traveled to Africa, three different times, to a Kenyan orphanage to help build dormotories and pour our love on these precious orphans who were saved from horrific conditions and situations. Currently, I am a “Wish Granter” for Make A Wish Foundation, a foundation that grants wishes for children who live with life threatening diseases. God has Blessed me with an amazing husband for over 30 years. We have two beautiful daughters who have given us so much joy. I am the proud grandmother of six wonderful grandkids, who inspire me daily. Our youngest grandson, Collin James, is a true Miracle, born at only 1.2 pounds, a micro preemie, whose skin and vital organs were not fully developed. We held prayer vigils over his isolette at Golisano Childrens Hospital, where he was revived countless times, we held on to our faith. After 5 months, Collin James came home. Our miracle grandson is a happy, active four year old. Trusting in God has been my strength...I dont always understand, but I trust in His plan for me, so when my daughter ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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“By the age of 26, I had suffered the unimaginable loss of two children; my son Mitchell Ryan and daughter Autumn Lynne, and 2 miscarriages.”

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Autumn Lynne died tragically and unexpectedly, on the day of her first birthday party, I made the heart wrenching decision to donate her organs.

Program sat under my jewelry box all these years until my friend Julia learned of her story (and also my pastor’s story, of donating his kidney to his mother, which saved her life)

My sister Debbie was there for me, supported my decision and assisted me through the paperwork for organ donation. Autumn Lynne gave life to a boy in Utica who would have died without her liver. Her kidneys went to a woman in Pittsburgh who no longer needed diaylsis. The letter from the organ & tisse Procurement

For the past 2 years, I have volunteered for the Northeast Kidney Foundation, as a committee member, helping with fundraising and patient services.

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Autumn Lynne lives on through the lives of others with her story. She was a special gift to me, her life was very short, and in that short time,

she made an impact on others with organ donation. Autumn Lynne has been a Miracle. God doesnt always answer our “why” questions, but He gives us Himself the Comforter. I continue to trust in God, who has the perfect plan. God promises us, those who Believe in Him, will have eternal Life, where I will be reunited with my children and family who have gone before me...Miracle of everlasting Life.


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LOREN METZGER I have been asked at least a dozen times over the past year why I would donate a kidney to someone I didn’t know. My initial response was that I couldn’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t. I felt a strong push to take action, and was hard-pressed to talk myself out of it. Someone in the world needed my help, and I was going to give it to them. When I was questioned by a psychiatrist as part of the process for evaluating potential donors, I explained to him that the world can be a very dark place for some people. I told him I understand this action will not change the entire world, but that maybe this action will change my little corner of it. And upon seeing that change, maybe other people would try to brighten their own corners. Maybe the light would spread. Even if this light did not drive others to take the same action, just seeing positivity in the world can make people’s burdens feel lighter. I saw the plea for help on Facebook. This person was my age. She struggling for most of her life, and all of the best parts of my life were unrealistic for her. She couldn’t travel, or swim, or even drink water without care. I messaged her and we spoke the rest of the day. I could tell she was proud, and tough, and kind. She works so hard, and she loves animals. Her name is Nicole. I wondered how many other people would see her post, and even fewer, how many would respond. Even fewer still, I wondered how many would get evaluated. I called the transplant team the next day. 80

During the process of being evaluated, I spoke with many people about the idea of donating a kidney. Most were taken aback. I had never had any type of surgery before, not even something as small as a cavity. I hadn’t had any conversations with other donors or recipients at that point, and I was wide-eyed and curious. Nicole and I spoke at length about the prospect of this donation. I was very honest with her that I didn’t want to set any expectations or make any promises that might not come to fruition, and that I was very concerned about disappointing her. She did not pressure me whatsoever. She answered all of my questions very honestly, and we became good friends. As I completed each step of the evaluation process, from bloodwork to stress cardiograms to CT scans, I became excited. Each time I texted Nicole and told her it went well, we rejoiced together. I became hopeful. I was nervous, but I was hopeful. I also became aware of something I hadn’t considered—she was nervous, too. Just like me, this would be her first surgery. The few months between seeing her post and entering pre-surgery were a blur. I was finally there, and after so many tests and questions, it was happening. I saw Nicole before I went into surgery, but it wasn’t a huge emotional scene with crying and hugging. We were wearing our hospital gowns and socks, and we talked about funny videos and games on her phone. We were both very

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groggy since neither of us are morning people. It was exactly what I needed that morning. We were two people and we were in it together. It has been a little over a year since our surgery, and we still remain close. Through the Northeast Kidney Foundation, Nicole and I participated in the Catwalk for Kidneys event last spring, and I took part in the Beyond the Scars gallery event, as well. I expected my donation to have an impact on Nicole, and other people in our lives, but I did not expect it to impact me and my life as deeply as it has. After working with the Northeast Kidney Foundation, I became aware just how big the organ donation community is. I became inspired by the number of people united under this umbrella, all working towards the same greater good that I had idealized when I decided to donate. I have a new appreciation for the human body, and what it can do, as well as for the love and support humans are capable of, even in the darkest times. My journey is far from over. I will begin volunteering at Strong Memorial Hospital as a donor volunteer. I will continue to spread the message of living donation. I will share my story and my experiences with all who will listen. I’ve said it before and I will say it again—if I had another kidney to give, I would do it all over again.


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JAN SHARP A SHARED JOURNEY As a child, I was sick a lot. More so than most children. In my late teens it was clear that something was not right. In the 1980’s we basked in the sun slathered in baby oil. You had to have great color and big hair before you stepped out. I would get rashes on my cheeks and felt exhausted. I still went out. Suffering for days after.

pain and my body started filling up with fluid. I could only wear ballet type shoes because my legs were so swollen and sore. It was becoming harder to see the definition of my spine because of the edema. Then came patchy hair

In 1994 I was involved in a bad car accident. A pickup truck went through a stop sign, hit me on the driver’s side, pushed me into another car, I hit a telephone pole and ended up in a cornfield. I recalled almost nothing. I was flown to Strong. No broken bones, just lacerations on my arm, leg and a torn earlobe. It took hours for the surgeon to dig out the little cubes of safety glass embedded in the side of my face, upper eye lid and forehead. It could have been much worse.

When I was 18 years old I dated a fellow named Jason Panzarella. His Mom and I became very close. She was my “Mamma Panzarella”. My Mom loved her dearly also. Jason’s sister Lisa had had a kidney transplant She too was often sick. In the mid 80’s my sickness grew more intense. I had strange reactions to medications. A lot of ED visits. It made no sense to me or the doctors. I became paranoid thinking no one believed me. I was always tired and in a lot of pain. On June 1st, 1988 I saw a Rheumatologist. A quick diagnosis was made. I had lupus. They started steroids right away. Over the next two years my lupus was literally killing me. My Kidneys were failing, stabbing pain in my lungs from pleurisy, mouth ulcers, terrible joint

In 1990 I started chemotherapy. ( IV Cytoxan). I likened it to killing a fly with an atom bomb. My hair was falling out and I was terribly sick. After 2 years of tapered chemo the atom bomb worked. My lupus settled down.

loss. I felt so ugly. Endless tests. Difficult for an average person to comprehend. Lisa was the only person I knew who had a kidney transplant. I thank God I had her to talk to.

I had a bad concussion which has wiped out many pieces of my past memories. Within a few months my lupus flared again. I had another 1 ½ years of tapered chemo. My blood counts were too low. It had become too toxic. They started Cyclosporin and sadly that also became too toxic. It was just a matter of time before I would need a kidney transplant. It got to the point that my kidneys were not capable ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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“My beautiful Donor has given me 14 years of life that I would never have had were it not for her. I talk to her each day. Even though she doesn’t answer, I know she is very much alive inside of me.”

producing enough erythropoietin to stimulate red blood cell production. After I would have a period I would need a blood transfusion. They started Procrit injections. After a couple shots I got hives. They said that was not possible. I went and showed them. No more Procrit. I had to have an endometrial ablation in order to stop having periods. I knew that meant I would not be able to ever have a baby. That absolutely broke my heart. A similar drug to procrit called aranesp was not yet on the market. Thankfully the pharmaceutical company gave me free samples to try. It worked. In 2003 I had to have a fistula made for dialysis. It was too small. The second one saved my life. I clotted on the operating table and they found that I had antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. That meant blood thinners for life. Lisa was so blessed to have been given the Gift of Life twice. Her first transplant was in 1977 and her second in 1996. She had 27 years she would never have had were it not for her donors. Such a blessing! Sadly, Lisa passed away on St. Patrick’s day in 2004. It was her Mother’s Birthday. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground. My Dad blew snow and he, Mom and I made our way over to the Panzarella’s. In 2005 I was too stubborn to start dialysis but I had to cave. On my first day of dialysis I cried my eyes out on the way home. I told God I couldn’t take this anymore. My Mom was in the hospital. She had suffered a heart attack, had Cdiff and pneumonia. I could not see her. Day 6 of dialysis I drove myself! On February 28th 2005 84

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I got “THE CALL”. The nurse told me they had a perfectly matched kidney for me. All I could think of was that God was givng me this gift because he was going to take my Mom. My best friend. She was still so sick. After speaking to her she insisted I accept. When I arrived at Strong and the bifold doors to the main lobby opened right in front of me stood my Mamma Panzarella and Jason! What were the odds of that happening? Mamma had a Doctor’s appointment and they were leaving. I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe in signs from God. After that happened a calm came over me. There was a bad snowstorm that night. My donor was from States away so they had to wait until morning. That gave me time to talk with my Mom and pray for my Donor and my Donor’s family. I could not imagine what they were going through. Their Daughter had died suddenly. At perhaps the most horrific moment of their lives they decided to donate their beautiful 15 year old Daughter’s organs. The most unselfish thing anyone could do. I am forever grateful. On February 26th 2011 my Mom died peacefully in her sleep. On February 26th 2017 my Mamma Panzarella died with Jason by her side. In April of 2017 I had heart attack symptoms and was taken by ambulance to Strong. They discovered that I had 3- 90% blockages and 1-60% blockage in my heart. They caught it in time. I had a double bypass. It was silly to think

that the lupus had attacked the rest of my body and had left my heart alone. Jason visited me and sat with me even when I didn’t know he was there. These words barely scratch the surface of my journey. During life’s most difficult times you find out who really loves you. Joyce Meyer once said “ You can be pitiful or powerful but you cannot be both at the same time” My story may sound pitiful but God gave me the strength to be powerful. My beautiful Donor has given me 14 years of life that I would never have had were it not for her. I talk to her each day. Even though she doesn’t answer, I know she is very much alive inside of me. Jan Sharp


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BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD THANKS TO ALTRUISTIC KIDNEY DONOR, UR MEDICINE SURGICAL INNOVATION Kidney recipient Odesi Junor was born with polycystic kidney disease, passed down from her father who died as a result of the hereditary condition. Odesi went undiagnosed until she began to have health issues. The Brockport resident suffered quietly with the condition for several years, telling few friends and family members about her struggles. “I didn’t want it to define me,” she recalls. But in early 2019, her health worsened and she began preparing for peritoneal dialysis, a grueling daily treatment performed at night while a patient sleeps, which would allow Odesi to work during the day at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, but would inevitably take a toll on her body. At that time she considered opening up about her situation, possibly seeking a living donor, but she was reluctant to ask anyone for such a gift. And that is when an altruistic living donor, who after months of testing was approved for donation by the UR Medicine Transplant team, offered a kidney that was a perfect match.

“I was shocked,” Odesi says of the generous individual who she still has not met, who wished to remain anonymous. “I was prepared to be on dialysis for at least five years. My donor was God-sent, risking their life for a total stranger.” The fact that robotic-assisted transplantation was being introduced at UR Medicine was another miracle, according to Odesi, who is a Jehovah’s Witness and cannot accept blood transfusions during surgery. The robotic technique eliminated the need for that.

Odesi became the first patient in the Northeast to receive a living donor organ robotically, an innovation for the UR Medicine Transplant team, which consistently seeks to improve surgical techniques to positively impact patient outcomes. Odesi now sees her future as bright and is excited to get back to her position in the operating room, and to experience life with a different perspective. “I now have a brighter and healthier tomorrow.”

TRANSPLANT TECHNIQUE EVOLVES A year ago, UR Medicine began using the robotic-assisted technique for living donors, to remove their kidneys for transplant. The significant benefits include minimally invasive surgery, more precision due to better optics and 3D technology, and a shorter recovery period. This prompted transplant surgeon Randeep S. Kashyap, M.D., M.P.H., to consider expanding the use of robotic technology to kidney recipients. Robotic surgery is the next evolution of minimally invasive transplantation. With robotic technology, the surgeon performs the operation using small incisions and equipment, but sits across the room at a computer console to direct the robot and surgical instruments virtually. As the optics are of an even higher quality, the precision is further improved. The incisions are even smaller, thus less pain, faster recovery and fewer incidence of wound complications. Under the leadership of Kashyap, UR Medicine has successfully performed more than 25 cases using robotic technology to remove donor kidneys for transplant, and has now performed multiple kidney recipient cases. Kashyap trained extensively for the robotic technique with support from his UR Medicine Urology colleagues, who provided 3D printed simulation models, as well as surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, one of only a handful of centers ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: EMPOWERMENT EDITION 2020

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“We are excited to have been the first in the Northeast to offer this innovative roboticassisted technique, with benefits that further improve care for our patients in Upstate New York, both living donors and now recipients.”

in the nation using robotics for recipient surgeries. “We are excited to have been the first in the Northeast to offer this innovative robotic-assisted technique, with benefits that further improve care for our patients in Upstate New York, both living donors and now recipients,” Kashyap says. “And it broadens the patient population we can help. For those individuals who are overweight or obese, who in the past were often unable to undergo transplantation due to potential complications, this technique is truly a game-changer. We can now offer more second chances by providing life-saving 88

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transplants to wider range of patients.”

and the kidney transplant team.”

Making history The UR Medicine Transplant team is proud to lead with another innovative technique, says Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, M.D., chief of the Division of Solid Organ Transplant at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

UR Medicine Transplant provides care to patients across Upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, offering kidney, liver, pancreas and heart transplants, as well as a pediatric liver and kidney transplant program through UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. A significant focus is on living donor kidney and liver transplants, including a paired kidney exchange program.

“Our talented, driven team continually works to expand the offerings of leadingedge treatments for patients in need of transplants, as seen with this new use of the da Vinci technology,” Hernandez-Alejandro says. “This program provides innovations available nowhere else in the Northeast, thanks to the dedication of Dr. Kashyap

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CATWALK FOR KIDNEYS BY JULIA YAW

CATWALK FOR KIDNEYS IS THE AREA’S BEST FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISING EVENT! We wil feature the area’s finest boutiques, cocktail hour and dinner buffet, stories of hope & inspiration and a special vendor marketplace where you can shop for beauty items, a chair massage, accessories, home goods and more! OUR MODELS WILL WORK THE RUNWAY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PATIENT AND COMMUNITY 90

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PROGRAMS, RIGHT HERE IN THE ROCHESTER REGION!

New Yorkers are waiting for a life saving kidney transplant.

Catwalk for Kidneys has a story to tell! Our models feature philanthropic members of our community, patients and family members, donor families and clinical & academic professionals all joining together with a common cause - to make a difference right here at home with an annual show in Rochester, Syracuse and Albany!

No matter your participation, know that you will be helping the Northeast Kidney Foundation provide grants that help patients with medical, nutrition and housing needs right here in the region. Thank you for helping us to make a difference!

One out of every three people are at risk for kidney disease. Nearly 10,000

For information call (585) 993-3161 or email julia@healthykidneys.org


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THE NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION ROCHESTER

BEYOND THE SCARS DATE TO BE DETERMINED

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Profile for Rochester Woman Online

RWO'S Northeast Kidney Foundation Special Edition  

Rochester Woman Online is proud to present the May special edition feature the Northeast Kidney Foundation. Including incredible doctors, re...

RWO'S Northeast Kidney Foundation Special Edition  

Rochester Woman Online is proud to present the May special edition feature the Northeast Kidney Foundation. Including incredible doctors, re...