Why I'm Running
I will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon on behalf of the Kidney Disease Research Center at Beth Israel. I have been dreaming of running the marathon for so long and I am so grateful to have been given this special opportunity.
The Center for Kidney Disease Research allowed my papa to have a new life after he was diagnosed with kidney disease and renal failure in 1994.
In June of 1995, my dad donated a kidney to his father, my papa, at Beth Israel. To this day, every time we drive past Beth Israel he tears up - telling stories about the transplant, including many details about their incredible surgeons, and the extraordinary doctors and nurses that were there before, during, and after the procedure. Though the procedure happened before I was born, Beth Israel has meant so much to me and my family ever since.
Although kidney disease research and the transplant process has a come a long way since my dad and papa’s procedure in 1995, my goal is to raise awareness for kidney disease research and treatment options. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 people live with a functioning kidney transplant. (NIDDK)
After my papa’s passing in 2001, not a day goes by where the McKeen family does not remember his legacy. If it weren't for the life saving transplant, I would have never been able to spend as much time as I did with him. My dad's scar is a symbol of love, hope, and resilience. He is proud to tell people his transplant story and his strength gives me the courage to face anything in life.
I am proud to tell people that my dad is a living organ donor because he is the strongest person I know, and he is my hero. My dad is my best friend and has always been my biggest cheerleader. He has shaped me into the person I am today and running the Boston Marathon with team BIDMC allows me the opportunity to give back to a cause that has meant so much to my family.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and generosity - any donation helps!