A Message from Michael Haggard ‘Kidney Casino For a Cure’
A Message from Michael Haggard
A lot has changed in a year!!! As most of you know, I have Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and have been diagnosed since my early 30’s. It always came as a surprise to someone when I told them I had a genetic, life-threatening and incurable disease because I was fortunate and did not suffer debilitating effects. My only symptom was inevitable and total renal failure!!! So a couple of years ago, I went on the over 100,000 person national kidney waiting list…..I had no chance of getting a kidney before going on dialysis!
Due to God’s grace, my prayers were answered and my brother-in-law, Major Allen Buckhalt (US Army Blackhawk Pilot and Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran) was a match!! Exactly six months ago today, Allen saved my life with the gift of life. I am 100% back to normal and my kidney function is better than most people…..It is a miracle and really should not be because living donation should be much more common!! In fact, Allen is not only back to 100%, but unfortunately, he is so healthy, the army is deploying him again to Kuwait in August. He is my hero and should be yours on so many levels!!!
That brings us to this year’s 7TH ANNUAL PKD KIDNEY CASINO FOR A CURE!!!! This is going to be the best event ever!!! This year our event will be held on May 5, 2016, from 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. This year will be a Cinco de Mayo celebration in celebration of not only my successful transplant but several other special guests who have been given the GIFT OF LIFE!!!! We are back at the Coral Gables Museum, once again taking over the beautiful Loggia and Terrace spaces. It is going to be a great celebration and fundraiser for a Cure for PKD!!
Bekki and I have funded several PKD research grants over the years, but with your help over the past decade, we have raised an additional $400,000 which has funded multiple PKD research projects!!! We will find a cure for PKD in my lifetime!!! I have been given a Second Chance at Life and I will not waste it……I know you will help us with our goal. Many of you have donated in the past and we desperately need your help again!!! Please do what you did last year or if you possibly can—-DO EVEN MORE!!! We want all of you to come to the event, but if you cannot please look at the sponsorship levels and consider being there in spirit with us!!!
As most of you also know the curse of this disease is also the blessing!! It is genetic…….Both Maddie and Carson each have a 50% chance of inheriting this disease……and as you can imagine that “haunts” me each night! But even if you told me tomorrow Maddie and Carson were in the clear, we would never stop fighting this fight. All you have to do is see the devastating effects of PKD on families. I have lost my maternal grandmother, uncle, and mother to this disease and I intend on beating it out of existence! Because it is genetic we have made advances that have never been accomplished in other disease research—-because we can isolate the Gene!!!!
This year’s event will also center around Living Donation!!! While we will find a cure at some point soon, each person with PKD that has gone too far down the road deserves a healthy life via kidney transplant. Bekki and I have funded a Living Donor Coordinator position at Tampa General Hospital where I had my kidney transplant operation. We intend on spreading the word and increasing living donations throughout this Country!!! Please help us with your attendance at the event and thru financial donations to make this a reality!!!
I cannot thank each of you enough for your past support and hope that you will continue to support our efforts this year. If you cannot join us on Friday, May, 5, you can still donate to our cause. NO donation is too small. Checks should be made payable to the PKD Foundation and can be mailed directly to The Haggard Law Firm, 330 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33134. ATTN: Susie Acosta. The attached document also allows you to RSVP, sponsor a table, purchase tickets or donate directly to the PKD Foundation. The Kidney Casino Night is live on the PKD Foundation’s website so you can RSVP and register online using a credit card!!
Thanks again and I really hope to see you on Cinco de Mayo!!!!!!!!!!!
Which Much Appreciation,
Michael A. Haggard
The Haggard Law Firm