Paulette first joined the NKF family as an intern in the Cincinnati office in September 2012. As you can imagine she was overly excited to work for an organization whose mission was her passion. Her grandfather was on dialysis most of her life and passed away from CKD when she was 12. Three years later her uncle was told he was in renal failure and needed to begin dialysis immediately. By the time she was an intern my uncle had been on dialysis for 7 years. She knew what CKD was and its effects on her family but she wanted to learn more. Her time as a development intern provided her the opportunity to gain more knowledge on this disease and she will forever be grateful.
Paulette Burks and her “Kidney Walk” quilt is a very inspiring story that we wanted to share with our customers!!!
Paulette stated that “My Kidney Walk T-shirt Quilt tells a story centered around my three heroes: William Diggs (Grandfather), David Anderson (Uncle), & Dr. Samuel Collier Sr. (My Boyfriend’s Father). Each of their journeys is different but all of them have two common factors: chronic kidney disease (CKD) & me!”
Unfortunately, Paulette couldn’t remain an intern forever so she began her search for a position with the National Kidney Foundation! I didn’t find any opportunities with NKF by the time she graduated so she ended up taking a for profit position. However, in September 2014, Paulette was offered a temporary position as a Program Assistant in the Columbus, OH office. Paulette wanted to work for NKF so bad that she risked everything by leaving a full time permanent position just to be with the organization she loved.
A few months later she met her boyfriend, Sam, at a holiday party. He asked her what I did for a living and of course she went on a rant about NKF and how important it was to her. Sam smiled and said ironically that his father was in renal failure and asked her to tell him more about her work. Since that day they have been inseparable, all thanks to a little CKD connection.
Paulette has had many ups and downs during her time with NKF. She became a permanent employee as a Program Manager who transitioned into a Development Manager. She’s watched Sam’s dad battle this disease with many complications that have put him in and out of the hospital. Lastly, she was lucky enough to receive a call on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 when my uncle received a kidney!
Paulette’s quilt represents her journey from a volunteer, intern, and employee of the National Kidney Foundation. It is a daily reminder of the three men she personally advocate on behalf of. Paulette stated that she is “so happy that Keepsake Theme Quilts were able to bring my vision to life. Keepsake Theme Quilts has supported NKF with our Cooking with the Stars silent auction and we appreciate their generosity. ”
That is a quilt that will always be cherished by Paulette and her family!!