We’d like to express our appreciation for the help with travel costs we received from the National Kidney Foundation of Utah. Living 240 miles from the Kidney Care Center is difficult, but with your help I can receive the car I need to keep my transplanted kidney healthy. Thank you. P. Simon.
I recently received a grant to help pay my heating cost. Words are not big enough to express my gratitude! I have survived 38 years of CKD, dialysis and tranpslants. I almost did not survive losing my job as a dialysis center social worker. I was devistated. The grant you provided got me through a couple of months until I can get another job. The grant was a life-saver! Because you paid my heat, I could pay for my medications. Words are inadequite to say thank you Kidney Foundation. T. Murdock.
Dear Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho,
This letter is to say thank you for the love and support that you have given to our family. We don’t have anything to give or show you how much we appreciate your help during this very trying time. We ask Heavenly Father to bless the work that you do for those who really need your help. Again, we thank you.
T. Netane & family.
Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 5:31 p.m. MDT
Deseret News — By James Davis
OREM — Giving part of himself has gone a long way for a Utah County restaurant owner.
Last fall, Marcus Gilbert donated one of his kidneys to 17-year-old Juan Delgado, who worked Gilbert’s Orem Charley’s Grilled Subs franchise. Since then, the corporate offices of the sandwich chain have adopted the National Kidney Foundation as the corporation’s charity of choice.
On Tuesday, Gilbert presented American Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho CEO Deen Vetterli with a check for $10,000 in behalf of the Charley’s Grilled Subs corporation. The donation is a result of a company-wide fundraising event in February, during which Charley’s set aside a portion of the sales of every one of the restaurant’s top-selling Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches up to $10,000.
“Initially, our goal was just to help Juan and his family out,” said Gilbert, who owns Charley’s franchises in Orem and Layton. “He had medical bills, and we wanted to raise some money to help them meet those expenses.”
That goal certainly snowballed. While both were recovering in the hospital in October, Charley’s Grilled Subs founder and CEO Charley Shin showed up with a check for $10,000 to help cover Delgado’s medical expenses, which are expected to exceed $100,000.
Since then, Charley’s franchises around the country have put out collection canisters to help Delgado, as well as to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation.
“It speaks for itself what a great humanitarian thing this is to do,” Vetterli said. “One of the main goals of the National Kidney Foundation is, of course, to promote organ donation.”
Vetterli said the $10,000 donation will be put directly toward supporting the foundation’s programs.
The National Kidney Foundation offers patient services for those who suffer with diseases of the kidney — from emergency financial assistance to medication and transportation. The foundation in Utah and Idaho also gives away as many as 20 educational scholarships annually to deserving patients who want to become self-sufficient, she said.
The National Kidney Foundation will also use the donation for medical research programs through the University of Utah to study the cause, treatment and prevention of kidney disease. Finally, the money will help to educate the public on kidney disease and on donation awareness.
One of the foundation’s efforts is the Good Samaritan program, through which people donate kidneys out of a desire to serve.
“There are many, many stories throughout Utah and Idaho where there are more and more people donating kidneys on a Good Samaritan basis,” Vetterli said, “which is really quite remarkable.”
|Wednesday, 01 April 2009|
|Kidney donation to Orem boy spurs others to help|
|Michael Rigert – DAILY HERALD|
OREM — The initiative and generosity of Marcus Gilbert, owner of a local sandwich store, already saved the life of an Orem boy, and his example has led to others helping those with kidney disease.
Gilbert, a Roy resident, owns two Charley’s Grilled Subs franchises, including the one at the University Mall in Orem. In September, Gilbert donated one of his healthy kidneys to his employee, Juan Delgado, who was suffering from end stage renal disease.Delgado, nearly fully recovered from the transplant surgery, said on Tuesday that he’s back attending classes at Timpanogos High School and planning to return to work at Gilbert’s store this summer.
“I’m almost 100 percent,” said Delgado, who added that it’s still hard for him to believe that his boss gave him a kidney after he had waited four years for one.
But Delgado’s sister, Esmerelda, also an Orem employee of Gilbert’s, and the one who initially informed her boss about her brother’s medical condition, said the act was just like her boss.
“I’m glad for him doing what he’s done,” she said. “He’s really nice.”
Delgado and his family were at the sandwich shop in the mall’s food court Tuesday morning to celebrate the donation of $10,000 from the Charley’s Grilled Subs company to the National Kidney Foundation in Utah. Because of Gilbert’s example and Delgado’s story, the company in February dedicated a portion of each sub sold at all its locations during National Philly Cheesesteak Month to fight kidney disease.
While Delgado was hospitalized for about two weeks in his recovery process, Gilbert said it took him about seven to eight weeks to get back up to full speed again following the surgery.
“He felt better right away, and I didn’t feel that good,” he said. “It was a surprise for me that they said the donor actually has a longer recovery time.”
Still, Gilbert said he’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. He said it’s important for people to know that donors have no long-term side effects, and both a donor and a transplant recipient can go on to live long and healthy lives. He hopes others are willing to be kidney donors.
“I’m blessed to have been part of a miracle in someone else’s life,” Gilbert said.
Apparently his goodwill was infectious. While laid up in the hospital for a week following the surgery, Gilbert said he was personally visited by the CEO of Charley’s Grilled Subs, Charley Shin, who wrote out a personal check to Delgado in the sum of $10,000 to help cover his hospital bills.
Gilbert has continued to raise funds for Delgado at his two store locations with the hopes of eventually paying for the family’s approximately $100,000 in hospital bills. He said he’d rather Delgado concentrate on his education and going to college rather than having to worry about medical debts.
Those interested in making a donation to kidney patients on behalf of Delgado and others can go to www.charleys.com, click on the “Eat a Cheesesteak, Save a Life” icon and make a contribution.
Deen Vetterli, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, said the company’s donation will go toward patient services, medical research at the University of Utah and public education programs about kidney disease and how to prevent it.
In Utah, she said, there are approximately 2,200 patients on dialysis, and of those, 230 are on the waiting list for a donor kidney. Nationally, 80,000 individuals with kidney disease are on waiting lists for transplants.
What’s surprising, she said, is how many donors like Gilbert are willing to share a kidney with someone they hardly know or who are strangers to them, but who might die without it.
“The Good Samaritan ones are so heart-warming,” she said.
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