A’s Suzuki Helps Kidney Disease Awareness
By Wendy Osher
Oakland Athletics’ catcher Kurt Suzuki joins his wife and teammates this week in hosting a Kidney Disease Awareness Day.
The event will be held at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum when the A’s play the San Diego Padres at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2012.
Funds raised will benefit the “Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation,” which supports the scientific research of chronic illnesses—specifically kidney disease research—and encourages and promotes healthy lifestyle choices.
The Suzuki’s established the Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation during the past off-season, in an effort to raise funds for kidney disease research and awareness–a condition that is familiar to the Suzuki family.
Kurt’s father, Warren, is a four-year kidney cancer survivor and Kurt’s sister-in-law, Patricia, has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a genetic abnormality that affects glomerulus of the kidneys.
Kurt said he joined his wife, Renee, in setting up the foundation in part to raise awareness. “We hope that through this first-year event, we are able to educate people on the various forms of kidney disease and raise money for research and education,” said Suzuki.
“We are also using this fundraiser to treat local children who suffer from kidney problems to a special experience at the Coliseum,” said Suzuki.
The A’s have set up a special fundraising ticket offer which will donate $5 from each Field Level ticket ($26) purchased online at www.oaklandathletics.com/suzuki to the Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.
During the game, Renee and other players’ wives and girlfriends will sell “mystery” A’s autographed baseballs, and host a silent auction of autographed memorabilia.
They will also be selling limited edition Suzuki “808” t-shirts ($25 at the event or $22 in store) from Maui Thing; and “Maui Boy” women’s long-sleeve tees ($29.50 in store) to benefit the foundation.
The shirts are also available at the Maui Thing store located on Market Street in Wailuku.
Prior to the game, local children who suffer from Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS will stand with A’s players at their positions during the national anthem. One of the children will also have the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.
Afterward, the children and their families will enjoy the game from the Field Level courtesy of the Suzuki’s.
More information is available at the following websites: www.oaklandathletics.com/suzuki or www.kurtsuzukifamilyfoundation.org.