Samuel Northrup, Editor-in-Chief
Lori North was at a routine medical checkup in June 2017 when she received news that would change her life.
North, a 2004 Utica College alumna, was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. Currently undergoing dialysis to manage her condition, the wife and mother of two children is left with one primary option: a kidney transplant.
As North waits for a potential donor, family and friends have come together to form a committee and create the Lori North Benefit for a Kidney Transplant. Being held on Friday, April 6, from 5-8 p.m. at the Saranac Brewery, the event will raise funds for North and her family through admission tickets, a basket raffle and a 50/50 drawing. Admission to the event costs $15 per person and $25 per couple.
“There’s certain people in your life who you know can come through and be there for you, then there’s other people that kind of surprise you with how they step up and are there for you in whatever way that they can be and now there’s complete strangers that I’m hearing are coming forward or have made donations or contributed a basket,” North said. “I’m amazed at how generous and kind people are, it’s incredible.”
While funds will help North and her family as they grapple with medical costs as she waits for a kidney, the long-term goal of the event is to raise awareness of end-stage renal failure — increasing the chances of bringing a potential donor forward.
“I think it’s going to be a fun event,” said Donna Gatto, a member of the benefit’s committee and a close friend of North’s. “It’s a Friday night, we’ve got a band that’s donating their time, food, baskets, just a fun night and a reason to get out and in the process you might be able help somebody out.”
While it has been a year since her diagnosis, North has remained resilient throughout the process and finds inspiration in her two young children, Ben and Grace.
“I try to look at everything I face as ‘what are my options,’ and in this situation I have two of them,” she said. “Either I move forward and deal with it or thrown in the towel. I’ve got two young children to think of, who are very active, and I want to be here for them and be able to do things with them.”