I'm Bib #29171
April 17, 2017
Dear Friends & Family,
I am thrilled (and secretly terrified J) to announce that I will be running my first marathon and THE BOSTON MARATHON on April 17th, 2017 in support of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an Official Charity of the Boston Athletic Association. Specifically, I will be running to support BIDMC Kidney Disease Research.
Kidney disease is a highly morbid condition that dramatically reduces both the quality of life and a person's lifespan. In fact, 1 in 3 American adults is currently at risk for developing kidney disease and 26 million American adults have kidney disease -- and most don't know it. Once the kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required – and dialysis is not a cure for kidney failure. Fewer than 40 percent of dialysis patients live more than five years. Rates of kidney failure are increasing and the cost to treat those patients continues to rise each year. Over 40 billion dollars is spent each year to provide care to those with end-stage kidney failure. Sadly, Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States and every year, it kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. This is a major public health problem and this research area, which may lead to major advances in treatment, comes from the work at Kidney Research Centers like the one at BIDMC. Your donation today can help the BIDMC Renal Division Research Team as they use their findings to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease. It’s one more way we can make a difference in the lives of patients and those who love them.
As many of you know, I have spent my career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical field. After leaving the bench, my love of science has continued to motivate me to identify and recruit thoughtful scientists, clinicians, and executives to organizations whose research and therapies have changed lives. This year and as a part of Third Rock Ventures, I’m am helping to build a new renal therapeutics company (more to come on that shortly) and bringing together some of the very people who will tackle discovering new therapies and advancing the fundamental understandings of kidney disease biology. I feel honored to help this area of research professionally. But helping professionally is one thing. Tackling this marathon, with the BIDMC Kidney Research Team, is my way of helping personally.
Growing up in Newton, the Boston Marathon has been a part of my whole life. Watching and cheering on all the runners, in all their shapes, sizes, and abilities, has always been emotional for me. Imagining the physical and emotional strength that each runner needs to get through the grueling and infamous course, moves me to tears (yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a total softy). Each year, when I watch runners in the world's oldest annual marathon, I can’t help but be in awe of the beauty and power of the human spirit, individually and collectively. This year, I will be one of the runners and will need to tap into that energy to fuel my run to the very end.
Please visit my fundraising page, https://www.crowdrise.com/BIDMCBoston2017/fundraiser/andreadimella to make a gift to BIDMC’s Nephrology Division in honor of my run. Checks may also be made payable to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center or BIDMC with “DiMella / Boston Marathon 2017” in the memo line and mailed to the folloing address: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Cash donations work as well – so reach out to me directly and I can provide you details on how to do that too.
Thank you so much for your support – from the fundraising and donations, to the moral, physical and emotional reinforcement (oh, I will need it!!!) - I know I won’t be able to complete this incredible journey, these incredibly special 26.2 miles, without all of you.
With warmest appreciation,
Written by the BIDMC Kidney Disease Research Team
The Renal Division Research Team has identified a reason for the high rate of kidney disease in people of African descent. Kidney disease is five times more likely to affect African Americans than other groups of people, and the team is actively working to alleviate this epidemic. This is a major public health problem and this research, which may lead to major advances in treatment, is unique to BIDMC. Dialysis is not a cure. Fewer than 40 percent of dialysis patients live more than five years. Rates of kidney failure are increasing and the cost to treat those patients continues to rise each year. In 2009, $42.5 billion was spent to provide care to those with kidney failure. Over the next three to five years, the Renal Division Research Team aims to use their findings to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease in African Americans. They plan to develop a multifaceted approach to solving this problem that will be highly visible and have a large impact on the lives of individuals and their families.