GLENDALE, Calif., January 9, 2023 – Renal Support Network (RSN) will host its 24th Annual Teen Prom on Sunday, January 15th, 2023, at 6pm PT at Giggles Nightclub; 215 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203.
The event is for young people ages 14-24 who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and their guest. We are thrilled to be hosting this live/hybrid event for these youths! For the past two years the prom was held virtually due to COVID-19 safety concerns. This year, the theme is “Night on the Town,” and those who live in the Los Angeles area, as well as those who can travel, will meet at the Giggles Night Club in Glendale, California, for a night of fun. A virtual element will also be available for those not able to attend in person. This annual event is a chance for youths who have CKD to get together with their peers, share stories and celebrate with a night out on the town.
We are excited to share that Mayan Lopez will be attending the prom this year. Mayan is the daughter of kidney transplant recipient George Lopez and co-star of the new, popular sitcom Lopez vs. Lopez. Mayan’s mother Ann Serrano Lopez donated her kidney to George back in 2005.
During the live nightclub event, guests will enjoy kidney-friendly “mocktails,” and dinner, mingle while having fun, and have the opportunity to dance the night away with DJ Sweet Baby J.
An oversize monitor will provide a two-way live feed of the activities to enable the kids at the nightclub to interact with those attending virtually. Virtual guests will receive a box in the mail filled with fun goodies to enhance the night’s activities. There are no fees to attend, but registration is required.
Senior volunteers from Notre Dame High School have always been a part of this tradition. They helped make decorations and fun sparkly bracelets for guests. Their attendance encourages shyer guests to dance. RSN educates them about kidney disease, dialysis, and organ donation to help them understand why those with the disease must be on special diets, how they have scars on their arms from accessing dialysis, and how many of them are waiting for life-saving kidney transplants.
Lori Hartwell, RSN Founder and President, was on dialysis from ages 14-24. She has always made this event free-of-charge so that all who want to attend can do so. She says, “These past couple of years have been very hard with all with the restrictions of Covid and the high risk for serious complications for people who have a compromised immune system. The lack of social interaction has greatly impacted our youth. An Illness is too demanding when you do not have hope. We are going to try and make up for lost time by having a blast!”
Kidney disease in children is a lifelong chronic condition and there is no cure. Causes can include birth defects, hereditary diseases, infection, or nephrotic syndrome just to name a few. From an early age these youths come to know what it’s like to rely on a dialysis machine to live and wait for a transplant. They have restricted diets, fluid intake limitations and daily healthcare regimens that can be challenging. Some attendees have received a kidney transplant and that requires daily medication that can cause unwanted side effects. RSN’s Renal Teen Prom provides these kids with a special evening in which they can interact with their peers and share their experiences, strengths and hopes in a non-medical setting. It’s something they can look forward to every year and many even go on to become lifelong friends.
RSN would like to thank its 24th Renal Teen Prom sponsors: DaVita, Fresenius Medical Care, and U.S. Renal Care.
Lori Hartwell founded Renal Support Network (RSN) in 1993 to empower people who have kidney disease to become knowledgeable about their illness, proactive in their care, hopeful about their future and make friendships that last a lifetime. Lori was diagnosed in 1968 with kidney failure and knows how important hope, peer connection and knowledge is to survive and thrive with an illness. RSN’s hopeful and life-enriching, non-medical programs help people who have kidney disease and their families, whether they are in the early stages of the disease, are on dialysis, or have received a transplant. To learn more, visit RSNhope.org