On August 14th, 2019 by Sherry Mason

The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation Supports Patients, their Families, and Gifts Backpacks of Hope

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Blog | Gifts

Andi and Tucker Callaway's family was changed forever when their son was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome at six years old. Andi will never forget the day when her eager and typically healthy kindergartner woke up with severely swollen eyes and legs - the beginning of their seven-year journey fighting this disease.

What followed is described by Andi as dark days, filled with doctor appointments, lab visits, managing 20 pills a day, struggling with the short and long terms side effects of the multitudes of medications, and quarantine at times to avoid illnesses that lead to further complications.

The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation was formed in 2017 to support children battling this syndrome, their families, and the ongoing search for a cure.

Nephrotic Syndrome (NS) is a rare and serious auto-immune disease affecting the kidneys, causing them to shut down. It prevents the kidneys from properly filtering blood from the body. Consequently, the body cannot keep the right balance of protein and liquid inside the bloodstream, causing liquid to seep out from the bloodstream into the tissues around it.

What Andi discovered early on in their battle with the disease, was a lack of support for those diagnosed with NS. The challenges are great. There is no known cause or cure for Nephrotic Syndrome. Treatments are limited and consist primarily of transplant and cancer medications, all of which have extreme and often permanent side effects. Many patients are children who spend the majority of their days in doctors' offices and hospitals, trying to find treatments that keeps them in remission, while also struggling to manage side effects.

For the Callaway's son, Wilson, it took three full courses of immune-suppression medications to get him into a steady remission, and then he continually battled infections over the years. Consequently, Wilson generally missed over 50 days of school per year, and endured long surgeries to address chronic infections caused by the medications. Andi and Tucker live with fear that there will one day be an infection that their son can't overcome.

The Callaways credit their community with helping them raise over $900,000 in their fight, enabling them to establish a formal avenue for direct support for those battling the disease. The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation, a northern California East Bay non-profit, was founded in 2017 to support the ongoing search for a cure, and to provide educational resources, peer support, and camp opportunities for afflicted children and their families. Andi and Tucker Callaway serve as its co-presidents. Learn more about the Nephrotic Syndrome and the Callaways' journey with the disease in this video clip.

"Tucker and I founded the The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation with the hope that no mother, father, or child should ever have to travel this journey alone. Every dollar donated makes a huge impact on these children and their families."

- Andi Callaway

The foundation's biggest fundraiser is the annual Game Day event. This year's event will be held on August 25, 2019, at the Oakland Coliseum. A ticket purchase from the foundation includes a pre-game tailgate event with food, drinks, games, music, and more. Cross-bay rivals the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants play ball in the Battle of the Bay, and kids get to run the bases on the field. To attend a future Game Day visit The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation (NSF) to learn more. Support the organization directly by clicking on the link below. Your financial support goes directly toward NSF's mission of supporting pediatric patients with Nephrotic Sydrome and their families.

Donate in Support of Game Day / NSF

Game Day 2018 at the Oakland Coliseum

"I love the energy at Game Day! I love seeing our foundation's name up on the big jumbo-tron! More than anything, I love putting on a fabulous top-notch event for our guests that is both fun and meaningful!"

- Andi Callaway

Camp NSF, a weekend camp for NS youth and their families, is one of the programs partially funded by donations to The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation.

The organization continues to grow, now offering various programs, including Finding Health sessions, which focus on topics like managing Nephrotic Syndrome in school, healthy eating, and mental health for those diagnosed. Peer to peer sessions are formed, where kids and/or young adults are gathered to discuss challenges, emotions, and tools used in navigating their diagnosis. Parents have their own peer groups as caregivers. All sessions are offered at no charge.

Andi shares, "One of the toughest things about this disease is that there are so many unknowns. It can sometimes go away as quickly as it came or the child can outgrow it; however, it can also turn into a more significant version of the disease, ending in end-stage renal failure, transplant, or worse. No one can change the fact that these kids have been diagnosed with this tough disease. We can offer support, love, education, and community."

Camp NSF is another valuable program and is hosted by the Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation in partnership with The Taylor Family Foundation in Livermore, California. This is a weekend family camp that is offered to all pediatric patients diagnosed with NS and their families. "Last year we hosted 25 families at Camp NSF; it was simply magical," Andi says. Some of the camp highlights include therapy dogs, horseback riding, campfires, a ropes course, a magician, arts and crafts, night hikes, and movie nights." Click here to view more photos of last year's camp.

Andi is thrilled to talk about the impact of the foundation's Backpacks of Hope program, which continues to expand. Enclosed in the packs are medical supplies, educational materials, and comfort items, including a kidney-friendly cookbook, over-ear headphones, warm blanket, water bottle, and information on clinical trials and community events, among other useful items. Priority is given to patients of UCSF, LPCH Stanford, and Kaiser Northern California; however, the foundation works to fulfill as many requests as is possible from outside the Bay Area. Andi says, "We hope to deliver over 100 backpacks by the end of 2019. It's so meaningful to the children and families who receive them. We love being able to bring a little love and light to these young warriors in what is otherwise a very dark journey."

"We received the backpack today! Thank you all so much for everything! Bay loved it- especially the blanket, headphones, and water balloons. And my husband teared up when he read the homemade card (and he's not the crying type!) We appreciate it so much."

- Testimonial from a Patient Mom (Facebook)

Designed for newly diagnosed young patients and their families, Backpacks of Hope is one of the foundation's meaningful programs designed to provide connection, education, and support to those diagnosed with this syndrome. Learn more, including about the Patient Family Grants program, at The Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation.

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On April 18th, 2018 by Sherry Mason

Developing an incentive strategy to motivate your sales team?

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Planning a reward-trip-getaway to an island resort as part of that plan?

We at Morgen Marketing are well suited to assist you in your sales incentive programs.  We have access to upwards of one million products, from low-budget giveaways, to high-end tech gifts, any of which may be imprinted with your company logo.

Your industry, your budget, and your incentive trip's theme, are some of the factors that help us find the best products to fit your needs.

How about a photographic image of that tropical beachline along with your company motto on a quality and travel-friendly Bluetooth speaker?  The possibilities are endless, and we help you tailor the the best product, or collection of products, to serve you and your team in the best possible way.

We enjoy working with our clients on these special projects and certainly bring enthusiasm to the process while we scout out the best items for each reward program.  Case in point, Morgen Marketing's K.C. Warner, teamed up with her client at Cushman & Wakefield/Pacific, a commercial real estate company with an office in Boise, Idaho, on a reward trip for its top performers.  The client provided K.C. with a budget and timeframe, and in turn, K.C. created several different concepts to present, including:

  • Splash sheets with virtual mockups including the Cushman & Wakefield/Pacific corporate logo
  • Color-coordinated items that showcase corporate colors
  • A collection of theme-inspired products
  • Items within client's stated budget

Morgen Marketing compiled the items chosen by the client, packaged them in a logo-branded tote, and delivered them all within the agreed upon in-hands date.  In the end, the client at Cushman & Wakefield/Pacific, who has worked with Morgen Marketing on different projects over several years, was quite pleased with the process and the result.  The client's written feedback was gracious:

"I wanted to reach out and thank you for the amazing job you did helping me put this together.  The gifts are perfect!  I am sure everyone receiving them will be surprised and impressed.  I've sent the attached photo up to our owners and they think they are great!  I can't wait to hear what the top producers think of them..."

One of the chosen items for this campaign was a Bluetooth speaker with a Catalina Island image imprint to commemorate the special trip.  Certainly, a fun incentive that works to inspire a sales team to reach its goals.  After the incentive trip, the special commemorative gift remains as a reminder of the great rewards that come from hard work and dedication to a company that regards and incentivizes its employees well!

Reach out to a Morgen Marketing representative for inspiration.  We are happy to assist in your corporate incentive strategies.

Bon Voyage!

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On November 15th, 2017 by Sherry Mason

Holiday Flip Book

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Another good thing in 2017… Morgen Marketing’s Holiday Flip Book, full of great inspiration for this season’s holiday gift giving.  Simply click on the cover image below, then on any item to see details, including pricing and packaging options at our online store.  We have even included some beautiful holiday cards to complete the collection.  Our Holiday Flip Book is a super, user-friendly way to wrap up your holiday shopping for clients, staff, co-workers, or members.  As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Sr. Account Manager to learn more about these products or to see more of the good things we have to offer.

Place your orders by Nov. 17 for guaranteed delivery by Dec. 22.  Click. Click. Click. Then mark it off of your list!

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