Students compete in kidney disease benefit basketball tournament

Theresa Scott and Theresa Scott

In conjunction with National Kidney Month and also March Madness, 18 teams competed in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament Saturday to benefit research on polycystic kidney disease. The event was hosted by Students for Organ Donation and the Do it Now! campaign to raise awareness about organ donation. Junior Kevin Lovell, who played in the tournament, said he signed up for the event not only because he liked basketball but because he wanted to support the Students for Organ Donation as well. ‘It feels really good to support a good cause,’ Lovell said. Polycystic kidney disease is the most common life threatening, genetic diseases in the world, yet is rarely heard about and is the most under funded genetic disease, said Glenna Frey, the chapter coordinator for the Toledo chapter of the PKD Foundation. ‘I honestly don’t know why more people don’t talk about it,’ Frey said. ‘This is why we are trying to raise awareness so we can get the word out there and maybe raise more money for PKD research.’ Elyssa Northey, President of Students for Organ Donation, said this was the first year the organization has sponsored such a large event. In past year the organization had raised various organ issues but this is the first year the organization has dedicated all of their efforts toward one issue. ‘We chose PKD because it affects the most Americans and for some reason it gets no attention,’ Northey said. John Laisure, the PR chair for Students for Organ Donation, was diagnosed with PKD in the past, and he encouraged the organization to focus their efforts toward finding a cure for the disease. Laisure said awareness for the disease needs to be raised among younger people and families. ‘I just wanted to do something fun because in the college community kids think they are invincible,’ Laisure said. ‘In reality anything can happen and you have to be prepared for that.’ Junior Clayton Lawrence, who competed in the tournament, said he was very satisfied with the event. ‘When I came into the event it felt like I had dirt on my shoulders, but playing and really giving back made me feel so good,’ Lawrence said. ‘It makes me feel like I just took a warm shower and washed all the dirt off.’