On August 14th, 2019 by Sherry Mason

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

Posted In:
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 October 1st, 2018 by Darine Garcia

The Significance of Gift-Giving

Posted In:
Blog | Gifts

No, its not too early! Fall is here and is a great time to collaborate and create a thoughtful giving plan for this month, or for a traditional December parcel delivery. Highlighted below are some helpful ideas to consider when developing your gifting plan.
Why gift to staff, to clients, to members, or the like?

Gifting creates opportunity.

Gift-giving creates an opportunity for communication between giver and receiver. You may often offer words of thanks to your employees for their dedication. Staff gifts offer a different vehicle to reinforce verbal thank you messages, leaving mementos for your employees to recall and recognize your gratitude over time. Or, perhaps the gift paves the road to retrieve a signed contract that had lingered long under a stack of files on your client’s desk. Gift giving provides an opportunity to reach out and connect to those you value, providing a lasting reminder to your clients of a valued relationship you share.

Gifting helps differentiate your company from competitors.

Some companies opt out of gift-giving to any of its would-be intended audiences. Your decision to gift sets you apart, as do your gift items of choice. Gifting to your customers and to your employees makes a statement. Consider what message you want to send. A company’s core values may be used as inspiration in helping choose gift items and offers another avenue in distinguishing your company or organization from competitors.

Gifting fosters loyalty.

Showing appreciation to valued employees, members, and customers, serves an organization well. Holiday presents, thank you gifts, employee incentive gifts, and membership rewards all work in part to further bond relationships, and to support growing connections with prospects. Gift giving strengthens the bridge between the giver and receiver.

Gifts can be used to incentivize employees.

One option is to consider a multiple-gift approach. For example, you may choose to select several items to present to your team members, with customer satisfaction survey data or sales volume guiding which gift is rewarded to each employee, either a gift valued at $50, $100, or $150. Whatever your budget, Morgen Marketing works to collaborate with you to select meaningful gifts.

What is the ideal timing of gift-giving?

Consider varying circumstances. Perhaps you’d like your gift to arrive early without having to compete with other gifts your clients may receive during the busy holiday season. Or, maybe December is the opportune time to present, at your company’s holiday party, hand-delivering your gifts at that gathering to lend an added personal touch. January is another good option, as many have returned from holiday vacations. In January, the holiday wrapping paper that had piled up through the busy year-end, has been recycled and the desk is tidy again in honor of the new year’s resolutions. Another idea is to give at different times throughout the year, riding the coattails of a holiday like Valentine’s Day or Independence Day. Simply put, there are many options that could serve a company well depending on the purpose and intent of the gift.

Consider gift packaging.

What is the first impression you want to impart to your gift recipient? There is a variety of different packaging materials available. Consider specialty gift bags, tissue paper, tags, ribbon, or gift-boxes made of varying materials. Any of these items may be imprinted with your logo, your company motto, core values, or a colorful photo. Packaging offers another subtle reminder of your company, gratitude, and message, and helps reinforce that positive connection that you want to build or reinforce.

Selecting gifts.

Your Morgen Marketing representative is happy to assist you filter through the nearly endless options of gift items and packaging. Your representative will guide you in creating a successful gifting plan that works to fit your different needs. A simple Q & A is a great place to start, either via email, phone, or in-person. Our online store at is another route for inspiration. Of course, you may also make an appointment to view an assortment of items at our showroom in downtown Boise.

You may find your sales rep on the home page of the Morgen Marketing website. Click the photo to find your contact’s name and to send an inquiry her way.

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