Team Kidney provides an outlet for volunteers with different interests and abilities to organize and raise funds for important research and care funded by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. There are many ways to be involved:
Join one of our sponsored endurance race teams! We are an official charity partner in a variety of Chicagoland races and to participate, you’ll complete a commitment form, anchoring you to a fundraising goal, and we’ll cover your registration fee. We’ll share fundraising tips and provide you with all of the administrative support you need. Those races are:
2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon – October 7, 2018*
2017 Life Time Fitness Chicago Charity Program
2018 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon Weekend – April 26-28, 2018
2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K – March 25, 2018
*Spots are usually very limited for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. If those spots are full, you can still participate on Team Kidney – read more below.
Run / bike / swim your favorite race and raise funds for Team Kidney! Even if we aren’t an official charity partner of a race in Chicago or beyond, you can still raise money for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. You pay for your own registration fee, and raise as much as you please. We’re happy to set up a fundraising page for you on our website, or you can create one yourself. Just contact us and we’ll help you market your fundraiser and provide tips.
Create your own event! Celebrate a wedding, honor a loved one, fundraise at work – anything you please. We provide as much administrative support as you need.
Contact Lena Clement by email or phone (312) 321-1500 to learn more.
Whether it’s for his health or for the fun of it, Brian O’Dea, CFO and COO of Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana, has been running seriously for about six years. This month, he will participate in the Chicago Marathon this year as a Team Kidney participant.
There’s some buzz growing around Chicago about the 40th annual Chicago Marathon. On October 8th, participants from all 50 states and 100 countries will traverse Chicago’s streets, whether they are running, walking or biking the course. A marathon is always 26.2 miles long and the Chicago race is known as a fast, flat course.
This is the first year that the National Kidney Foundation is a charity partner with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Team Kidney members raise funds to the support the NKF and benefit from incentives and inspiration that comes from being a part of a team.
As a member of the NKFI Board of Directors, Brian learned about Team Kidneys last Spring and committed to run for the NKF with his son, Aidan. This is Brian’s second marathon and Aidan’s first. They are looking forward to sharing the experience together, even if they don’t finish together. Running with a team is a different experience—it makes the race more fun.
“I enjoy being a part of something larger than myself as a Team Kidneys member,” Brian says. “Raising awareness about kidney disease is so important. Other diseases capture the national consciousness, but so many Americans are on dialysis or have chronic kidney disease, and I don’t believe the funding or the awareness are where they should be.”
Adam Doiron is a triathlete, Iron Man competitor and marathon runner. But he wasn't always this serious about his health.
In 2010, Adam started a new job where he met a colleague named Jen with whom he became close friends. Sadly, Jen was diagonosed with FSGS in her early 30s and needed dialysis. Wanting to get involved and support his friend, Adam signed up for the NKFI's Walk for Kidneys in 2013. He raised around $1500 that first year to increase awareness around the disease. On the walk, he met others living with kidney disease and found a new passion for advocacy.
Jen's health continued to decline and it became apparent that she needed a transplant. Her husband and several friends were tested and found that they were unable to donate. Knowing all this, Adam spent some quiet time in a cabin, unplugged from the world, thinking about his friend and her family. The answer became clear to him - he would give Jen his kidney. The only confirmation he needed was from his then girlfriend, now wife. After thinking for a few seconds, she encouraged him to give.
Adam registered to be a donor, sent in his test materials and found out he was a match! He asked Jen to lunch and told her the good news. On November 3, 2015, the two friends went into surgery and strengthened their bond with a living donation.
While he was tender the first few weeks after surgery, he was back to work within a week and back to normal life a few weeks later. Within a month, Adam was riding his bike and started joining his wife on runs. He participated in the Walk for Kidneys in 2016 with family and friends, this time raising almost $4,000! He ran his first marathon in the Twin cities and will run the 2017 Chicago marathon as part of TeamKidney. He's running half marathons with the top 5% of his age group - completing his latest half in 1:37:59 which is 20 minutes faster than his best time!! He'll complete a half Iron Man in May and a full Iron Man in July.
If you’re concerned about altering your lifestyle as a donor, know that you become more aware of what to do to keep your body healthy. I now dedicate a lot more time to keeping myself in good shape. Donating made me healthier! The emotional payback and good karma you'll receive is beyond unbelievable.