The Hope Affair 2017: Imagine the Possibilities was an inspirational evening of courage and strength in the face of kidney disease, as illustrated through this year’s honorees. Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors, individual supporters and attendees for helping to make this event a success. See below for more information about this year's honorees and click here see the beautiful photos from the evening.
In response to the natural disasters of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and the enormous relief needs of dialysis patients, AKF made a special request at the gala to help support our Disaster Relief Program – the only rapid response fund dedicated to dialysis patients. Thanks to the generosity of the evening’s participants, over $33,000 was raised to help patients in need. AKF remains a lifeline for these dialysis patients in need. To learn more about this effort, please visit kidneyfund.org/disasterrelief.
The Hope Affair, the American Kidney Fund’s national gala, is an annual celebration of the people who inspire us in the fight against kidney disease. The event brings together the renal community, national policymakers, patients and advocates for an inspirational evening to shine a bright spotlight on kidney disease, and raise funds to support our lifesaving programs and services.
For more information, please contact Megan Harbold at 240.292.7067 or MHarbold@kidneyfund.org.
Skyler M. Moats - Calendar Kid Cover Artist
Fifteen-year-old Skyler has had kidney disease since the 5th grade. Shortly after she and her sisters came to live with their grandmother in Elkins, West Virginia almost two years ago, Skyler learned that her kidneys were failing and she would need a kidney transplant or would need to start dialysis in the near future.
This past July, on the day she was scheduled to start dialysis and a month before her birthday, Skyler got the call she’d been waiting for – a matching kidney was available for her. She and her family traveled to Pittsburg Children’s Hospital for the transplant.
Skyler’s drawing, “A Fighting Chance,” is meant to inspire other kids who are living with kidney disease to never give up, to be brave, and to know they can get through it. It received the most votes in an online voting contest and appears on the cover of AKF’s 2018 calendar.
Skyler has two younger sisters and is looking forward to a career working with children who have kidney disease.
Luis M. Matos - Hero of Hope
Despite a chronic, debilitating neuromuscular condition that caused his kidneys to fail in 2015, Luis Matos of Ozone Park, New York, had a passion – football, and a mission: helping to take at-risk young men, ages 18-23, off the streets of Newark, New Jersey.
When Luis became too sick to play football, he started a semi-pro team, the New Jersey Hawkeyes. In their first year, the Hawkeyes won a league championship and were a national runner-up. But even more importantly, the players on the team began to see that there are more important options and alternatives open to them beyond life on the streets.
Luis was not only a coach, but also a mentor to these young men who have few positive role models in their lives. Players frequently told him that if it weren’t for the opportunities the team gave them, they would be lost.
His failing health has recently sidelined him from coaching, but Luis is hopeful that he’ll receive a kidney transplant and be able to resume the work that is so important to him.
Justin G. Condon - KIDNEYNATION Excellence Award
When he set out to climb Mount Everest at the end of March, Justin Condon carried 40 pounds of gear and essentials on his back and something far heavier and more precious in his heart: the memory of this father, Gerry, who died of kidney failure in 2015.
Gerry had been Justin’s most ardent supporter in his quest to summit the highest peak on each continent. Everest was to be his sixth – an amazing turnaround for the formerly overweight, overstressed Wall Street IT executive, an Irishman who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey. Justin dedicated his climb to the memory of his father and decided to use his expedition to raise money to help kidney patients through the American Kidney Fund.
Justin set a goal of raising $5,000 for the American Kidney Fund, and he surpassed that lofty goal by raising over $25,000 to support AKF programs and services.
Date, location and time
The Hope Affair 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
2017 Event sponsors
Circle of Friends
American Medical Technologists
ColorNet Printing & Graphics
Copilevitz & Canter
Gordon & Rees LLP
Paul and Sonya Brathwaite
Hartman Executive Advisors
Mutual of America
WAUSAU Financial Systems, a Deluxe® company
Gail and Warren Wick
John and Becky Weidenbruch
Brookfield Property Partners
The CauseWay Agency
Robert B. Lewis
Tim and Ruth Morgan