National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Gift of Life Gala

Paul and I were able to attend the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ 32nd Annual Gift of Life Gala. It was a black tie affair held on the 21st of October at the Loews Chicago Hotel. Beginning at 6:30 there was a cocktail reception during the silent auction. At 8:00 there was a program, a dinner and dancing! Natalie Martinez from NBC Channel 5 news was the emcee. The entertainment was provided by the Chicago Catz.

I was so happy to see both my donor liaison nurse and my surgeon at the gala. They were at a table hosted by RUSH hospital in Chicago. RUSH University Medical Center is where Paul and I had the transplant surgery.

Paul is now on the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, so we sat at the table that they sponsored.

The speaker was a living donor (like me). She gave to a little boy who is now enjoying a full and happy life and the donor is enjoying more love than she ever though possible by being in the lives of her transplant recipient’s family. It was heat warming and special to hear their story. She has a whole new family to love and love her back after making the decision to donate.

In Illinois we have a program that Paul and I support called the KidneyMobile. This is a mobile vehicle that can go to events, businesses, gyms and more to give life saving screenings for kidney disease. Did you know that people don’t have pain or symptoms from kidney disease until it has progressed to a dangerous stage? This is why screening is so important. The KidneyMobile has screened more than 50,000 participants in Illinois. Alarmingly, over 80% of those screened were found to have at least one significantly abnormal test result. This shocking statistic clearly indicates how important it is to provide free, chronic disease screenings and education in communities throughout Illinois, particularly in areas deemed most at-risk. For more information on finding the KidneyMobile for a screening or to schedule it to come to you, click here.

This is a pic of Paul and I at the Gala.

Here is what I wore. . .

Women’s halter beaded evening gown from Laundry by Shelli Segal $295 at Nordstrom


Adley Embroidered Evening Pumps from Blue by Betsey Johnson $125 Macys

Rhinestone Earrings $14 from TAGOO on Amazon


Contact the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois at:
215 West Illinois Street, Suite 1C / Chicago, Illinois 60654
Phone: (312) 321-1500 / Toll Free: (800) 9-KIDNEY
Fax: (312) 321-1505 / Email:


14 thoughts on “National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Gift of Life Gala

  1. What a fun event for such an important cause. Thank you for the reminder to get screened- kidney disease is something we often forget about until it’s too late. All donors are true heroes in my book.

  2. Great cause, so important to raise awareness. Didn’t know kidney disease could be so dangerous! The event looks spectacular and those shoes are awesome!

  3. I love the initiative and the purpose. It’s really nice that you can provide screenings for people especially those who are unable to seek medical attention despite having issues with their health.

  4. It looks like you had an amazing and fun evening.It is so important to raise awareness like this, By the way, you look so gorgeous in your black long dress.

  5. I think it’s great that they have this event and to meet up with the people who were there for you when your health was troubling… I was very close to needing a liver transplant 5 yrs ago (I was on the top of the list 1A listed) The Drs call me a miracle because I somehow survived without the transplant (the only patient with Wilson’s Disease to have had liver failure and survive with my own liver!) I count my blessings!
    I know if I had a liver transplant I would love this event to show my appreciation for those who help!

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