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Kidney association needs funds to keep going

The Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association (CRKA) recently started a new fundraising campaign in order to continue serving patients in the community.

"As a 501(c)(3) certified charity whose mission is 'To identify and assist with the needs of kidney disease patients in the Cleveland and Rutherford counties of North Carolina,' we're very excited to involve our community in our latest fundraising efforts," says Michelle Hoyle, CRKA executive director.

"Due to COVID-19, normal fundraising events have not been able to take place," says Hoyle. "This year we have lost more than $55,000, and we are on the brink of having to shut down our 40-year non-profit organization. The Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association is neither state nor federally funded, so all of our help comes from community donations."

As part of the fund-raising effort, CRKA is holding a raffle.

"The winner of the raffle will win a brand-new Ludden Rocker Recliner donated by Laughlin Furniture Outlet in Shelby," says Hoyle. "All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to the Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association."

The main platform for the raffleis online at https://go.rallyup. com/crkaraffle-winarecliner. Participants can also purchase raffles tickets in person at the CRKA office, located at 1017 N. Washington St., Shelby.

The drawing for the raffle will be held on October 10, 2020.

Those who wish to donate without entering the rally can go to www.Kickstarter.com and type "Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association" in the search area.

Any funds donated to the organization will enable it to stay open and continue to provide food, financial and transportation services to patients in need, according to Hoyle.

"Without the public's help, we will close our doors in less than two months, and more than 400 patients will lose their direct source of help," she says.

The Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association was founded in 1989 by Margaret Ledford in honor of her daughter, Susan Renee Ledford.

After battling a variety of health issues throughout her childhood, Renee received her first kidney transplant shortly after graduating from high school. Unfortunately, shortly after the surgery Renee had a rejection of the transplant, which prompted her to start dialysis. Several years later, Renee received a second kidney transplant, which also eventually rejected. Renee was placed on dialysis for a second time.

Renee's next transplant came from her father, Ray Ledford, on October 28, 1985. This transplant worked well for many years, but in 2010 Renee once again found herself in need of another kidney. This time her aunt, Pam McCurry, was the donor.

"This time the kidney transplant was a success, but Renee had other problems such as COPD and a heart condition," says Hoyle. "She passed away on July 16, 2010, at the age of 48. She love the Lord and was ready to go home." During her lifetime, Renee overcame her adversities and became a spokesperson for kidney disease, according to Hoyle.

"She participated in work with her mother at the Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association as a founder and patient support advocate," she says. "Renee inspired hundreds throughout her life and continues to do so through her story. The Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association strives to keep Renee's legacy alive by supporting patients with kidney disease."

For more information, search for "Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association" on Facebook or call Hoyle at 704-481-9535.

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