Race Your Weekend Away on June 23rd & 24th

June 14, 2012

Are you looking for something to do next weekend? If so, we have two amazing opportunities for you to stretch your legs, enjoy the sun and build organ/tissue donation awareness.

10th Annual Nick’s Race
Saturday, June 23rd

Join the Volk family for the 10th Annual Nick’s Race on Saturday, June 23rd at Sam Parr State Park in Newton, Illinois.  Runners can choose from two different routes.  The first is 2.85 mile trail run and the second is a shorter 2.0 mile walk.

Nick’s Race benefits the NCHS Cross Country Team and the Nick Volk Scholarship Fund. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Gift of Hope.

You can register for Nick’s Race on-line or learn more about the event on the Nick’s Race Facebook page!

National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ Gift of Life Walk
Sunday, June 24th

Next Sunday, approximately 1,500 people will descend onto the Soldier Field Great Lawn to walk or run in the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ 13th Annual Gift of Life Walk, Run and Roll presented by Baxter International Inc.  This fun-filled day aims to raise awareness for kidney disease and will include live entertainment, kids’ activities, and healthy living tips in addition to the three-mile walk and new 5k run along Lake Michigan.

The Gift of Life Walk, Run and Roll is free for all who participate, but those who raise $75 or more will receive the official walk t-shirt.  Participants will include people with kidney disease and on dialysis, transplant recipients and donors, caregivers, healthcare professionals and those that support the fight against kidney disease.

Check-in for walkers and runners will begin at 9 a.m.  Anyone interested in attending can pre-register for the event and help to raise funds at www.firstgiving.com/nkfi.

Have fun and be sure to stretch!

– Josh, Gift of Hope


Journey to the U.S. Transplant Games – Chapter 3

July 13, 2010

Let the countdown begin…just 17 days until the Games! It is hard to believe that they are almost here. For those of you that are attending the games for the first time, be ready for an incredible experience, one that you will never forget!

The opening ceremonies is where you will truly see just how amazing the decision of donating life can be. While you are walking in with your team, take a look around in the room. It will be filled with other recipients, donor families and friends from all over the US! As the week progresses, you will develop relationships and friendships with several people, which will continue even outside of the games. I met some of my closest friends, Rosie Rodriguez and Stephanie Wetzel, by traveling with team Illinois to the U.S. Games that were held in Pittsburgh, PA in 2008.

Not only have I met great people through my own team from Illinois, but I have also met some wonderful people from all over the United States. Being originally from Michigan, I have become close with several people from Team MI, including Holly Werlein and the Coleman brothers, Trev, Lon and Brandon, a donor family that travels around the U.S. promoting organ donation through competing in triathlons in honor of their brother Chase, who passed away in a car accident, but was an organ donor. I have met so many others that have become a significant part of my life because we share in some similar experiences of receiving the precious gift of life. Not only have I met some incredible people that play an important role in my life, but I have also learned so much from them and their experiences. I think we would all agree on the fact that after you receive the gift of life, you learn that life is all about LIVING and being thankful for every single breath you are given. As someone once told me, living doesn’t necessarily mean breathing…it means LIVING!!

Not only are transplant recipients given the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Games, but they can also compete in the world transplant games. I had the pleasure of traveling to Australia last summer with team USA to compete. There, I also was able to meet so many incredible people from all over the world and even from my own team, team USA. I have kept in touch with several teammates and am looking forward to seeing them travel with their own state to the U.S. Games in Madison.

I encourage you to follow the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois on Facebook for updates and news regarding the upcoming games!!!

Keep on training and working hard!!!


Making new friends at the 2008 Transplant Games

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A Walk Along the Lake

June 24, 2010

On Sunday, please join us for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ annual  Gift of Life Walk! Last year, more than 1,200 people enjoyed entertainment, refreshments, healthy living tips and a leisurely three mile walk along beautiful Lake Michigan. Nearly $100,000 was raised in 2009 after expenses, which directly benefits programs like free screenings; educational days for patients, family members and health care providers; and camp for children with kidney disease. Donations and registrations are accepted by visiting www.firstgiving.com/nkfi.

-Nicole, National Kidney Foundation of Illinois

More information:

Walk Along Lakefront for Kidney Research | Chicago Sun-Times

National Kidney Foundation of Illinois

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Questions About Living Donation?

May 10, 2010
With the recent kidney chains in the news, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network has received many questions about how to become a living donor.

What is a living donor?

A living donor has given part of an organ (liver, lung or pancreas) or one kidney from his/her own living body for transplantation, usually to a family member. A living donor’s remaining kidney will do the work of two kidneys. Since kidneys are matched genetically, donation from a family member may be more successful than from an unrelated donor.

How can I become a living donor?

While OPOs coordinate donation after the donor’s death, living donations are coordinated by transplant centers with these types of programs. To learn more, talk to a transplant center that offers a living donor program in your area.

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois has resources pertaining to kidney donation on their website, along with a list of transplant centers in Illinois.

For first-hand experience to living donation, check out Amanda’s Donor Diary.

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NKFI Gift of Life Walk – June 28

June 25, 2009

It’s supposed to be a beautiful day on Sunday! A great excuse to get outside and enjoy the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ Gift of Life Walk and Family Health Fair (thanks for the reminder Melissa!).


Sunday, June 28, 2009
9:00 a.m. registration; 10:30 a.m. Walk Start
Soldier Field Great Lawn – Chicago

If you go, be sure to email us (donatelifeillinois@gmail.com) your photos for us to share here and on our Facebook page! More details on the event:

Don’t miss this fun and FREE event for the whole family!

Participants enjoy a leisurely three-mile walk along the lake followed by refreshments, entertainment and an informative health fair.  Steve Baskerville of CBS2 Chicago and Troi Tyler will serve once again as honorary Walk Co-chairs, getting the crowd enthused and sending them on their way! And the talented DJs of Bizar Entertainment will spin tunes all morning to get you moving.

Delicious, nutritious refreshments will be provided by Trader Joe’s and an informative health fair rounds out the day. Check Point sponsors include Abbott, Fresenius Medical Care, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, and Lifeline Vascular Access. Many thanks to Baxter for their longstanding, generous support of the Gift of Life Walk. For more information, please contact Anne Black at 312.321.1500 x224 or via email to ablack@nkfi.org.


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Glory of a Marathon

October 10, 2008

Donate Life Illinois will be well represented this year at the Chicago Marathon. Two of our coalition partners are teaming up with Illinoisans to raise funds for research: American Liver Foundation – Illinois and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. The two teams have been training throughout the summer and are ready for the big race, which will be held this Sunday, October 12th.

If you’re out and about cheering downtown on Sunday be sure to keep an eye out for any of these racers!

To support their research click through the following links:
American Liver Foundation – Illinois
National Kidney Foundation of Illinois

Happy Friday,


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