Rebecca Budig is a four-time Emmy nominee, Soap Opera Digest Award winner and former star of ABC’s All My Children. Rebecca graduated from the Cincinnati School of the Performing Arts and went on to major in zoology at Ohio’s Miami University. She moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to pursue her acting career. While appearing on All My Children, Budig also served as occasional co-host for ABC’s The View. In 2008, she hosted NephCure’s Countdown to a Cure event at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, NY. With Rebecca’s help, Countdown was a huge success, generating more than $500,000 in donations.
Dawn Evans was James Madison University star point guard from 2007-11. Evans was one of the most prominent players in Division I women’s college basketball during her tenure with the Dukes. After being diagnosed with FSGS in December 2009, she continued to thrive and still finished among the nation’s leading scorers in her final two seasons. She led the Dukes to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, back-to-back conference titles and was the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year her senior season. Knowing firsthand how FSGS can affect one’s life, Evans is determined to work together with The NephCure Foundation to raise enough awareness for research to put an end to FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome.
Jim Gerlach is a United States Congressman representing the 6th district of Pennsylvania. He has represented the citizens of Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1991. Mr. Gerlach’s initiatives include access to affordable healthcare, preserving the region’s environmental resources, and improving and maintaining the area’s transportation network. He is also proud to have helped secure Pennsylvania seniors a prescription drug benefit through Medicare that will provide $13.2 million of the nation’s poorest seniors with free medications, while giving all seniors access to significant prescription drug assistance.
Paul Hutchins is a former offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers from 1993-96. Hutchins was diagnosed with FSGS during retirement. He received a transplant in 2009 and is currently running the 3rd and Long Foundation to help others afflicted with kidney disease and assist them on their journey. In 2013, Hutchins joined NephCure as an Ambassador and has since met with doctors, researchers and patient families in and around Chicago area.
Gaylon Hyder, a former standout defensive tackle for Texas Christian University, was a promising player in the National Football League (NFL) before his career was cut short by injury problems with his back. Hyder, born in Longview, TX, was an accomplished football player for Longview (TX) High School, where he was honored as the defensive player of the year in Texas and East Texas in consecutive seasons in his junior and senior year. His standout play earned him a scholarship to Texas Christian University. His NFL opportunity came when he was drafted by Coach Vermeil and the St. Louis Rams in 1999. He played four games for the Rams that season and five in the 2000 Super Bowl Championship year but was hampered by lower back pain throughout. Shortly after the 2000 season, Hyder was traded to the Cleveland Browns and later signed with the Oakland Raiders but was unable to overcome his physical ailments and retired from the NFL. Now retired, Hyder suffers from FSGS.
Alonzo Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star, is widely applauded for his comeback to the hardwood following his kidney transplant due to FSGS in 2003. Currently the Vice President of Player Programs and Development with the Miami Heat, he is a role model for those who share his illness. Mourning won his first NBA title playing for the Heat in 2006.
David Ragan, a professional NASCAR driver, joined Nephcure as an ambassador in 2009. He has raced in several series, including the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series, the Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Among his accomplishments, Ragan was named the 2007 NASCAR Busch series Rookie of the Year and finished fifth in the 2007 Daytona 500. He captured his first NASCAR win at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 6 Discount Tire team on April 25, 2009. Ragan participates in the annual Jet Food Stores Charity Golf Tournament to benefit The NephCure Foundation.
Andres Romero, a professional golfer from North West Argentina, has not only found success in the PGA Tour, but also in his triumph over kidney disease and became an Ambassador for NephCure in 2012. With his sin miedo, meaning “without fear”, attitude, he has won numerous professional golf tournaments and his battle against childhood nephritis.
Kurt Suzuki is currently catcher for the Washington Nationals. NephCure is important to Suzuki because his sister-in-law Patricia Vignery has been suffering from the kidney disease FSGS since she was eight years old. He has recorded a Public Service Announcement for NephCure and along with his wife, Renee, has hosted Kidney Disease Awareness Days at his team’s home games. Suzuki became the starting catcher for the Oakland A’s soon after his promotion to the big leagues in 2007. He was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2012 and continues to play well. A 2001 graduate of H.P. Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Maui, HI, he attended Cal State Fullerton, where he won the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher following the 2004 season. Visit the kurt Suzuki Family Foundation website… click here.
Herschel Walker is a former NFL and University of Georgia Star. While attending the University of Georgia, Walker set an NCAA freshman rushing record and helped capture the national collegiate football title. After a successful stint in the USFL with the New Jersey Generals, Walker joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1986, where he led the entire NFL in rushing and earned All-Pro honors. Walker moved to the Minnesota Vikings as starting running back in 1989. In 1992, he joined the Philadelphia Eagles, but returned to the Dallas Cowboys in 1996. He retired from the NFL in 1997. On May 12, 2008, Walker participated in the 6th Annual Jet Food Stores Charity Golf Tournament to benefit The NephCure Foundation. With Walker’s help, Jet Food Stores was able to raise over $30,000 for kidney disease research. Walker has since renewed is commitment to the event.