Matthew Singer recently took on the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as a Nephlete to raise funds for NephCure and help support his brother, Eric, in his kidney journey. We spent some time with him to learn more about his story and how he was able to raise the most of any individual fundraiser in 2016!
NKI: Tell us how you’re involved with NephCure.
Matthew: In past years, I’ve donated to NephCure on several occasions. However, in 2016, I decided to make a more substantial commitment by running the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and raising money for kidney research.
NKI: Why do you do what you do? What’s your personal connection to kidney disease?
Matthew: My brother has been living with FSGS for several years, so kidney disease research is obviously a cause I care a great deal about. I had been thinking of running a race, so it was serendipity when I learned that NephCure was raising funds through a [local] Chicago race. After I brainstormed the #SaveOurKidneys fundraising pitch, I had a conversation with my brother, and we were both excited about the idea. We realized that we might be able to raise a pretty significant amount of money for a cause near and dear to both of our hearts!
NKI: What was the hardest part about doing the run and/or fundraiser?
Matthew: The weekly long runs to prepare for the race were definitely the hardest. It is one thing to run 13+ miles when you’ve got the adrenaline of race day, but quite another to run 10 miles on a training run.
NKI: What was the best part?
Matthew: I was absolutely blown away by the the overwhelming response — not only close friends and family, but distant acquaintances were really generous. It is one thing to “like” our posts on social media, but another to actually reach into your wallet to donate. I was awed by how many people supported us, and how generously. Frankly, it wasn’t all that much work to raise the money: a few e-mails and social media posts accounted for most of our donations.
The race day was great as well. The weather was surprisingly cool for July in Chicago — which helped me finish the race with a personal best time.
Congratulations to Matthew and his brother Eric for their hard work to #SaveOurKidneys and fund research to find a cure for FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome!
Learn more about how you can get involved as a Nephlete and raise funds for research while participating in your local races! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.