I'm asking for your help.
My dad, Lou, was raised just north of San Francisco. He played basketball in high school, joined the Army, and married my mom in 1960 at St. Anselms Church in our hometown of San Anselmo, where they raised 3 girls. I grew up with typical family outings, camping, fishing, playing at the park. We led an active, healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, my dad was also diagnosed diabetic in the late 60's, so I grew up with insulin and injection needles in the house.
Although he did everything he could to take care of himself, in the early 1990's my dad's kidneys began to fail so he started weekly dialysis and went onto the organ transplant waitlist for a kidney. He refused to let my sisters and I be tested as a living donor, scared we might need a kidney sometime later in life. Kidney disease runs on both sides of the family.
He wasn't the only one waiting - there are over 113,000 people on the transplant wait list today.
18 people die each day on the waitlist. My dad was one of them when his heart gave out during his dialysis treatment on December 4, 1996.
A group of 12 friends will be running for 32 hours as we run 199 miles from Calistoga to Santa Cruz the first weekend in May. We're running The Relay. I do this to honor family members who have been affected by organ donation.
- My dad, Lou Rambke, who was on the waitlist but never received a kidney. His heart gave out during his dialysis treatment.
- My Great Uncle Joe, who needed a kidney but never made it onto the transplant list. He passed away before my dad.
- My Uncle Hans, who's life was extended by 10 years through the generosity of his daughter Suzanne when she donated her kidney to him as a living donor.
- My cousin Mike, who was on the waitlst for a kidney, and was fortunate to receive one after a long wait on the transplant waitlist and hours of dialysis.
What can you do? There's several ways to help.
- Sign up to be an organ donor at www.donatelifecalifornia.org
- Support our Relay team by making a donation to Organs "R Us on behalf of our team, "Silence of the Vans".
Please consider making a financial donation, $5, $25, $100 - every little bit helps.
Thank you for your support!