Board of Directors
Kasey Pfaff resides in Hampton, VA with her husband Stephen, her six-year-old son Gryphon, and two- year-old son Cooper. She became involved with kidney disease awareness as her son was diagnosed in utero with urinary and nephrology issues. Upon birth, the damage was assessed, and her son Cooper was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. After being on dialysis for a year and a half, Cooper was able to receive his successful kidney transplant. Her husband was able to be his kidney donor. They are both doing well, and it has been such a life-changing experience for her family. Kasey has jumped into helping others understand the kidney donation process and overall kidney disease awareness. Having personal experience with both the kidney donor and recipient side is something worth sharing to all. She enjoys spending time with her family, working her business, helping others find the gift of life.
Molly Gerken Ruane
Molly Gerken Ruane lives in Tampa, FL with her husband, Tony and 2 year old daughter Matilda. Molly became involved with kidney transplantation when her daughter was diagnosed with kidney failure at 1 day old. After being on dialysis for over 2 years, her daughter had a successful kidney transplant at 2 years old. Her daughter’s kidney donor was her husband. Both are doing great. Molly brings a unique viewpoint to our organization while also being a nurse practitioner. Her personal experience and healthcare background has inspired her to become involved with Kidneys for Kids. She enjoys traveling, thrifting, and spending time with family. Raising money for pediatric living kidney donation holds a profound significance in my life. As the mom of a transplant recipient and the wife of a kidney donor, I have personally witnessed the significant change in quality of life that occurs after a kidney transplant. Pediatric kidney patients face challenges that are emotionally, physically and financially taxing for them and their families. By contributing to this cause, people can help alleviate the suffering of these young individuals and offer them the chance to live a healthier, fuller life. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most. I am committed to helping give the gift of life to those who are most vulnerable.
Jamie is retired from The Dow Chemical Company as a lead in the accounting department. During her 36 year career @ Dow Chemical, she spent the first half in Business & Executive Management as an Executive Admin & spent the remainder of her career as a Global Cost Accountant for Information Technology and then for Environmental Remediation. She studied Business Mgmt & Accounting at Northwood University, Midland, MI
Jamie resides in Kawkawlin Michigan with her husband Jim. They have two grown children-Parker and Grant Nichols. Jamie battled polycystic kidney disease for over 26 years. She was on dialysis for almost two years before receiving her life- saving kidney transplant. Jamie now leads a healthy, active life and is proud to lead the board of directors for Kidneys for Kids
My Kidney Journey-
Early in 2012, my mother and I found out I was in end- stage renal failure after I started having severe backaches. After going through many tests with our family doctor, my mother and I were informed that I would need a kidney transplant, or I would have to start dialysis soon. I was 10 years old at the time, and I became very scared knowing soon I would have to have a port for dialysis surgically placed in my arm or chest so I could receive a dialysis treatment 3 times per week. At that time, there were no pediatric centers for dialysis near our city, so my mom would have to drive me almost 100 miles for treatment three times per week. I was already starting to miss a lot of school days feeling sick, which gave me too much time to think about what I would be going through soon, if I was not approved to enter a transplant program, I would be on dialysis, and miss too much school to move past 4th grade. It is a lot for a 10-year-old mind to handle, but I am lucky to have such a caring mother, family members, and good friends who all kept my spirits up.
Little did I know my mother was so desperate to find me a living kidney donor, as she could not bear the thought of losing me. She knew if I received a kidney from a living person, that I had a better chance of not rejecting it, and that a living kidney has an average life span of almost 3 times over a kidney from a deceased person. So, in September of 2012, my mom decided one day to make a sign on a big pink piece of construction paper, and she went to the busiest corner in our town. She stood there for hours, the sign saying-Help Please, “My Daughter Needs A Kidney, She’s 10 Years Old, I Cannot Lose Her”. She received many offers of money, but no amount of money can buy a kidney, it must be given freely. Her effort gained the attention of our local newspaper, and Tv station. We had no idea that a man who had called us about two days after the stories appeared, would actually get tested to see if he was a match for me. It wasn’t until the day before Thanksgiving that we were notified that my mother’s effort had found my hero. Mom and I screamed so loud, that Brian should have heard us, as at the time we only lived 4 blocks apart but had never met. Brian, my mom, and I were introduced that December by a former CNN reporter, who wanted to record a short documentary on kidney donation. Then on January 10th, 2013, Brian, mom, and I rode together in a donated limousine to the University of Michigan Transplant Center, and the next day Brian’s kidney was removed in the main hospital, and brought over to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, where my surgical team placed his kidney into my stomach pouch- that’s where donated kidneys go. The kidney, which was now mine immediacy started to function, and 2 days later, Brian was wheeled over to see me, and we were reunited. I was now full of color, I could eat all of the foods that had been restricted from my diet, and I was able to go home within 6 days. Brian and I both made full recoveries, and because of his donation which in the end saved my life, I am now 20 years old, healthy, in college at Eastern Michigan University, and serving on the board of directors for Kidneys For Kids. My goal is to help more children receive living donor kidneys by sharing my story in our Driving for Life interviews.
Briana Mohan, Kidneys for Kids Treasurer, Living Kidney Donor
There is no more important cause than preventing preventable deaths.
I was born with something called Hirschsprung’s Disease and despite two intervening surgeries, suffered debilitating symptoms through my early teens. I understood from toddlerhood that my life was saved only by the dedication of the medical community, while simple misfortune ‘cursed’ me with the illness. This perspective fostered deep-seated passion for the sciences. My 12 year engineering career has been dedicated to improving efficiencies in transportation technology. While the field is less direct than medicine, improving energy independence, air quality and ecological husbandry are vital for human health today and tomorrow. I allocate a great deal of my remaining time to the most vulnerable populations in my community – volunteering both as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care, and as a tutor for elementary school kids in one of Michigan’s least resourced districts. Through these efforts, it’s clear that it is not enough to want to do good, but gauging whether well-intentioned efforts are a net positive is extremely difficult in a complex world. This realization inspired me to donate a kidney at the Cleveland Clinic in 2019 as the immense positive impact on a transplant recipient is virtually incorruptible. I support Kidneys for Kids and the Drive for Life mission not only because no child deserves illness, but many other people would be happy to donate if they were only aware of the opportunity. Whenever I have a bad day, I get to think of the kidney that I hosted for 30 years helping a young man live a more normal life, free from dialysis, free from a dismal mortality rate, free from waiting for the call – one that his brother got a year prior – that while a kidney has become available for transplant, an otherwise healthy person just unexpectedly died. Kidneys for Kids is scaling up awareness, assistance and community around a population with concrete, deliverable needs.