Jennifer, Cynthia and Heather Flood are three sisters on a mission.
In 2008 their father was diagnosed with kidney failure and given six months to live. So they used what resources they had and turned to the internet. Through Craig’s List they were able to find their father a kidney (100 potential donors responded) and soon set out to do the same for others, forming The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America.
It was in celebration of the foundation’s efforts that Jennifer and Cynthia Flood, their friends, sponsors, patients and supporters gathered at Trump Tower on Saturday night for a benefit in honor of April’s National Donate Life Month. The third annual event of its kind, the evening was designed to raise awareness of kidney disease and organ donation through fashion, festivities and networking.
Housed in the basement of the tower, the night kicked off with cocktails and canapés, after which the crowd gathered for a fashion show featuring standout designs from top New York City designers, including Nanette Lepore, Amy Matto, GUESS, Marciano, Unruly Heir, NYC Subway Line and Party with Moms, with accessories from March Boutique and umbrellas from The Brelli.
VIP guests were given front-row seats and treated to gift bags with items from Benefit cosmetics, Orogold Cosmetics, Pure Pitz, Prevention Magazine, Lindt Chocolates, GUESS, Spa Week and others.
Orogold was also on hand to demonstrate its luxury cosmetic line, with the particularly impressive 24K Deep Peeling, which promises to be a gentler way to exfoliate. It works too: two seconds of rubbing revealed visible dirt from my pores that left me grossed-out and impressed at the same time.
A coinciding silent auction took place with prizes including a Trump Soho Hotel Stay & Spa and jewelry from Desire by Mikolay.
Celebrity DJ Catch 1 manned the turntables, while the crowd was later treated to some acoustic tunes from singer-songwriter Victoria Ryann, who performed with a hauntingly sophisticated style, and JD Pinto, who covered some familiar pop favorites.
The sisters started the foundation to educate people on alternative ways in finding a kidney donor – but also to find what they call “altruistic donors” or unrelated living donors for the patients they work with. The event did an important job of highlighting their success stories, while introducing the audience to patients like Rob Graham who is very much in need of a type O donor (if you’re interested, or know anyone who is, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org). Sponsors like La Jolla Pharmaceutical were also on hand to talk about the important work they’re doing to treat kidney disease.
It was a fun event with a message: that a simple gesture, such as posting one ad, can have enormous benefits. The courage, persistence, and hope the Flood sisters share with their family, friends and patients they work with was palpable and despite the difficult subject matter, the general feeling was one of positivity and optimism. It is hard to resist this sisterly love.
Twisted Talk: Do you know anyone who has had a kidney transplant? What are your thoughts on the Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation? Discuss below!