I am very excited to share with you that I will run my very first KAL next month. I wanted to do this for a long time but knew that if I did, I wanted it not just be a KAL but also an opportunity to do some good. I have thought a lot about what cause to support with this KAL and nothing has felt quite right. However, the one thing that feels right is very personal and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about this publicly as it is still difficult for me. I have found however that I keep going back to this which clearly is a sign that I am meant to do it. Let me explain my motivation for this KAL.
My dad died unexpectedly in February last year. He had been ill for years but the kidney failure he suffered in his forties was not the cause of death. He died during a check-up to see which procedure would be best prior to his heart operation. Unfortunately, his heart had been in a worse condition than anyone had anticipated and initiating the test dislodged deposits that destroyed his heart (this might not be the most medically correct explanation but is what happened as far as I understand it). The doctors did everything they could and even managed to put him into a coma but he died early in the morning on February, 3.
It was a very big shock to my family and me despite having lived with my dad’s illness for over a decade. He had been very lucky to receive a transplant in 2010 and had gained back a lot of quality of life with the chance to travel again, which was one of his big passions.
Dealing with kidney failure and having to go to dialysis four times a week was a huge disruption of his and our lives. It was not always easy to cope with. Kidneys filter blood and thus regulate the water and waste in our bodies. A dialysis machine can filter out the waste and liquid to a degree but it doesn’t work quite as well as our organs. As a result, patients have to regulate their drinking and diet. It is also a strain on the body. It meant a lot of changes and even that my dad couldn’t work anymore.
We experienced the impact of kidney failure first hand with my dad. Dealing with this illness was bad enough as an adult but there are many children who are suffering from kidney diseases which often mean dialysis and taking a lot of medication. Most of the time for the rest of their lives. For this reason, our family decided to ask people not to buy flowers to place on my dad’s grave but to donate the money instead to Nephrokids Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.. And this is also the charity I want to support with this KAL and therefore all proceeds from the sale of the Colourful Cowl in February will be donated to the charity.
The website of the charity is in German so it might not be accessible to many people. However, I have summarized the essential information about the charity below. Please feel free to contact me if you want more details.
Founded in 1990 Nephrokids aim is to provide support to children (and their families) who have chronic kidney diseases, regularly go to dialysis or have had an organ transplant. It is meant to be a place for support, information exchange and to create a sense of community. Not only does the charity organize events like trips to amusement parks, Christmas parties or circus workshops for the families but also represents the interests of kids and teens with chronic kidney diseases in hospitals. For example, they help buy games and books for waiting areas of dialysis centers and kids wards in hospitals. They also provide mental support to the kids and their families. Additionally, they help educate the public about kidney diseases and organ donation.
Please think about joining me in this KAL to support this small charity. However, I totally understand if you don’t like the pattern or have the time to participate. In that case, I would ask you to instead research organ donation and maybe think about signing up to become an organ donor. I know it is not an easy decision and we generally don’t like to think about our own death but it could make a live changing difference to people if you do decide to donate your organs. Thank you!
I hope this explains my choice of charity and why I struggled with setting this up. More details about the pattern and what you can expect from the KAL will follow in a few days.