Stepping Out to Honor A Beloved Sister

Michelle Brown will step up to support kidney disease in memory of her beloved younger sister, Yvonne, who suffered for 25 years with kidney failure. An Executive Administrative Assistant at HM Insurance Group, Brown jumped at the chance to participate in the local Pittsburgh Kidney Walk when she learned that HM had become a national sponsor of the Kidney Walk events around the country. Brown, who was closest in age to her sister Yvonne, looks forward to raising awareness for this cause that affected her entire family

"My dad was a big, husky man," says Brown, "but he was a softie when it came to my sister. I knew he would have done the dialysis treatment instead of her, if he could have. He so deeply wanted to take away her pain."

Brown remembers her sister as always being pleasant to everyone around her, despite her many health challenges. "She tried to live as normal a life as possible. She got married, had two children and was thrilled that she was even able to care for her first grandson as an infant and toddler," says Brown.

Brown's sister received a transplant that lasted four years, but ultimately she ended up back on dialysis, a treatment that kept her alive for more than two decades. Brown urges other families in the same position to "stay connected and always show support for the patient and each other."

She is thankful for the opportunity to spread the word about kidney disease with the hope of providing support to many other patients and families with kidney failure and research that will help find new treatments.