GLENDALE, Calif., Jan. 13, 2020 – Young people living with CKD (chronic kidney disease) are invited to attend Renal Support Network’s 21st Annual Renal Teen Prom.
When: January 19, 2020 – 6-11pm
Where: Glendale Hilton Main Ballroom – 100 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91202
Why: Twenty-one years ago, Lori Hartwell, Founder and President of RSN, held the very first Renal Teen Prom for young people with CKD. Lori was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 2 and missed her own prom and many school activities due to health issues. She was on dialysis from age 12 to 24 and is now living with her 4th kidney transplant. She has lived with this illness for five decades and wants her younger peers to know they can survive and thrive despite kidney disease. This coming-of-age event gives these teens the opportunity to meet each other and create friendships that will last a lifetime.
“This is always a fantastic night for these kids,” says Hartwell. “I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know my younger peers. It’s very moving to see some of the same kids who come back year after year. Sometimes they miss a year because they are too sick and sometimes they are called for a kidney transplant. They come back the next year full of hope. We can’t forget that there is a cycle with this illness. One friend can make a difference!”
This year’s theme for the prom is “Making Magic,” featuring a DJ , dancing, and the magic of Michael Grasso. Grasso, also a kidney disease survivor, began studying magic as a young child and was a finalist on America’s Got Talent. He has been featured on The Ellen Show, TLC’s The History of Magic, and the hit NBC show Totally Hidden Extreme Magic. Not only has Michael been a professional magician for more than two decades, he has experienced the “magic” of kidney transplantation four times over.
Musical artist, Lana Love will also take the stage. Since the launch of her pop music career, Lana has collaborated with several award-winning producers and we are so excited to have her perform.
RSN receives volunteer support from a myriad of people to make this annual event happen, including students from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. People across the country donate dresses and accessories so the girls can pull together the perfect prom look. The volunteer squad includes professional hair and make-up artists, stylists to help with ties and other details to be dance-floor ready, and drivers to alleviate the final obstacle, getting to and from the event if you do not have transportation.
Nancy V. says, “I knew about the prom for several years but was always hesitant to go. When I finally went last year, it was wonderful. I realized that there are so many people here who support each other. I came to realize that my struggles are opportunities to learn and grow, and I’m stronger because of it!”
Trent S. shares, “I feel very fortunate that at this prom I’m able to meet so many wonderful young people. It’s great that Lori Hartwell has this great organization that gives us an opportunity to dance, enjoy a party, and just be accepted by others as we know what we are going through.”
Thank you to our sponsors AstraZeneca, CareDX, DaVita, Fresenius Medical Care, OneLegacy and U.S. Renal Care.
Renal Support Network (RSN) empowers 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. To learn more about organ donation, causes of kidney disease and dialysis treatment options visit www.RSNhope.org.