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Not to PKD, this time, but a real loss nonetheless. All of our lives are diminished when someone so vital leaves us:

My manager’s uncle, Joe Mahoney

Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mahoney Jr. (Retired) entered into eternal life on Monday, May 26, 2008. He was born March 1, 1938, in Springfield, Mass., to the late Joseph B., Sr. and Madeleine Rushford Mahoney. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marcia Moynahan Mahoney; four children: Peggy Mahoney Santry (husband Steve), J.B. Mahoney III (wife Marie), Patrick Mahoney (wife Kathleen), and Erin Mahoney Berrigan (husband Patrick); and one sister, Mary Lynne Farrell of Monmouth Beach, N.J.

His memory will live on through his 12 grandchildren: Kyle, Scott and Ryan Santry, Eric, Jessica and Ashley Mahoney, Patrick, Faith and Aidan Mahoney, and Madeleine, Claire and Patrick Berrigan.

During his 21-year career as an Air Force command pilot, he flew the C-118 and the C-133 for more than 6,500 hours, including serving in the Vietnam War. For his service to the United States of America, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Private interment services and military honors at Biloxi National Cemetery will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mahoney Jr. (Retired) to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Attn: Contributions, One Intrepid Square, West 46th St. &12th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10036 or at Sign the family Guest Book online at

— Kenny

Posted on June 30th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

I spent a chunk of Saturday at the street fair of the first-ever World Science Festival, talking with kids and their parents about PKD.

I was happy to meet Miss Frizzle:

She was right near the Magic School Bus:

Also happy to meet Digit, of PBS’s Cyberchase:

And to spend a little quality time with my manager’s fiancée (please don’t tell him!):

We also saw two cool discussions — one on the origins of the universe (“Echoes from the Beginning”), and one on What It Means to Be Human. After the “Human” one (sounds like it’s easier being a kidney), I got to shake the hand of the renal Francis Collins, and thank him for his steadfast support of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, which passed recently with his help. Dr. Collins has been a great ally for PKD over the years. So has Alan Alda, who I tried but failed to greet.

Many thanks to organizers Brian Greene and Tracy Day, and producers Susan Magnano and Peter Downing, for inviting me to stop by. A great time was had by all kidneys and most humans. — Kenny

Posted on June 4th, 2008 | Filed under generosity, genetic information, kidney, PKD, renal | No Comments »

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins performed the nation’s first-ever 6-way kidney transplant. Six donors, six recipients. Amazing.

Gotta love those Hopkins docs. Favorite line: “Johns Hopkins has performed 52 paired kidney exchanges, said the network. Hopkins pioneered the first triple swap in 2003 and the first five-way swap in 2006.”

The article said that “a national system to bring mismatched pairs together ‘could add about 2,000 additional transplants a year, which would be a huge boost.’ ”

I’ll say it would! All I can think of is those six kidneys in new homes, with new neighbors. Having left their healthy sibling behind — in charge of the old homestead for the first time — the transplanted ones are off to take on new responsibility, and are now filtering blood for those who couldn’t do it on their own. It’s so gratifying to feel needed. If I had eyes, they’d be moist …

— Kenny

Posted on April 11th, 2008 | Filed under generosity, kidney, organ donation, renal | No Comments »

As it ran in the Albany Times-Union two weeks ago. Posting it here in case it ever becomes hard to find there. Thought you might like to see what one family has lost to PKD, and yet how they’ve been able to keep love and joy alive. My manager considers himself lucky to have known his uncle for as long as he did:

Brazell, Richard C. SCOTIA Richard C. (Dick) Brazell, 64, of Cambridge Manor Drive, Scotia, died of a short sudden illness, Thursday, March 13, 2008 in Orlando, Fla. Born June 30, 1943 in Schenectady, N.Y., son of Ann Brazell and the late William T. Brazell. He was a graduate of Siena College and was employed by the Amica Insurance Co., with a 30 year career in underwriting. He was a U.S. Army veteran during the Vietnam Era. Dick loved and was loved by many. To know him was to love him. He had a zest for life and fun. Worldly accomplishments weren’t his thing, but helping others was. He was the “solution” man and many considered him their mentor. Affectionately known as Poppy, he avidly followed the grandchildren’s sports activities near and far over the years-most recently JT’s, Drew’s and Carter’s hockey, Devin’s dance and Jackie’s and Kaitlyn’s soccer. In the past, it was Jimmy’s baseball, David’s bowling and Sarah’s basketball and softball, not to mention friends’ kid’s sports. Golfing with his friends and family was special and he once had a hole in one. And there was fishing with the grandchildren and friends. Dick always made time for everyone doing what he could to help in a situation and was blessed with the gift of wisdom which he generously shared. Despite his many health issues over the years, Dick carried on, never complaining. He cherished his recovery life and leaned on his loving family and friends in his times of trial and sorrow. He will be greatly missed. Mr. Brazell married his wife, Margaret, April 26, 1975. Besides his wife and mother, he is survived by a daughter, Tracy (Jay) Rafferty; stepchildren, James (Sharon) McCullough, Margaret (Peter) Marshall, Marybeth (Michael) McLear, Michael (Wendy) McCullough; grandchildren, Carter and Devin Brazell, JT and Drew Rafferty, Jimmy and Sarah McCullough, David McLear, Jackie and Kaitlyn McCullough. Also survived by several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his brother, William T. Brazell Jr. and his son, Michael J. Brazell. Calling hours will be Monday, March 24, 4-8 p.m. at DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Avenue, Rotterdam. Services will be at 9:15 Tuesday morning from the funeral home thence to Saint Joseph’s Church, Scotia for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Interment in Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorial donations in his name be made to PKD Foundation, 9221 Ward Parkway Suite 400, Kansas City, MO 64114-3367.

Posted on April 5th, 2008 | Filed under kidney, organ donation, PKD | No Comments »

In a very small way. Middle photo, top row, next to his fiancée. Let’s hope the publicity doesn’t go to his head.

— Kenny

Posted on April 4th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

A fellow PKD volunteer, Amy Epstein, has done a wonderful thing. Starbucks is soliciting community-building ideas, so she suggested a penny for PKD research.

Why Starbucks? ‘Cause one of their renal baristas donated a kidney to a customer, a woman with PKD. Wow.

Please help us nurture this relationship with Starbucks. Here’s how:

1. Click on this link. It’ll take you to Amy’s proposed campaign in the “Building Community” section of
2. Where it says “Sign In”, please create an account.  Make up a User Name, Password, email address (you can make up a new one for each account) and screen name.
3. The next page offers you the option to “Vote” so please click on the “Vote”.
4. The page after that offers you a search box in which you should type in “PKD”.
5. The page after that shows the name of the campaign: How about “A Penny to Fight PKD” Campaign.  Click on it.
6. Finally, on this page, click on the check mark “VOTE”.  It will add 10 points to our voting score.   Scroll down and add your comments.

Join us! And please lemme know if you add your vote. I’d love to thank you publicly — or privately, if you prefer.

— Kenny

Posted on April 2nd, 2008 | Filed under generosity, organ donation, PKD, renal | No Comments »

A big shout-out to the wonderful Michele Miller, whose blog WonderBranding teaches businesspeople everywhere how to market to women. And I’d call her wonderful even if she didn’t say such nice things about me.

— Kenny

Posted on March 31st, 2008 | Filed under generosity, renal | No Comments »

Had to pass on this link, showing my friend, the renal Karyn Waxman, putting herself out there to tell Greater Memphis — and now you — all about PKD.

Go, Karyn!

Posted on March 28th, 2008 | Filed under generosity, PKD, renal | No Comments »

My manager’s uncle, Dick Brazell, died of PKD complications last week on World Kidney Day. A few hours after I tried and failed to get onto the “Today Show” (security restrictions since 9/11 prohibit costumes anywhere near the camera), and got my sign briefly onto “Good Morning America” (resulting in a woman in Orlando reading the sign, coming to this site, and shooting me a most welcome email), my manager’s uncle, in great pain, went to the hospital.

The doctors operated on him, apparently to prevent an aneurysm he’d been carrying from rupturing. That part of the surgery seemed to succeed, but then he took a turn for the worse, doctors said, and died.

My manager, Bill, grew up with his Uncle Dick always around, showing everyone how to have more fun. Dick knew he had an aneurysm, and knew that it might someday rupture, but continued to golf and enjoy life because, as he said, “What else would you do?”

Dick’s family is very sad. It’s yet another sudden death, and another from PKD. Dick’s 90-year-old mother has now lost her husband (at 44), both of her children (at 42 and 64), and one of her grandchildren (at 35) to early, sudden death, and three of those four died because of PKD. (The other one, Bill’s father, drowned.)
My manager is sad and angry: Sad at the shocking losses — each of which reminds the family of the ones that came before — and angry at the disease that keeps taking away his relatives before their time.

— Kenny

Posted on March 19th, 2008 | Filed under PKD | No Comments »

I feel like it’s Christmas and my birthday, all rolled up into one! It’s World Kidney Day tomorrow, and I’m going to try to get in front of a camera at the Today Show. Wish me luck!

— Kenny

Posted on March 12th, 2008 | Filed under kidney, renal | No Comments »

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