For the past few years, my friend and colleague, Cathy Talmadge, had been battling a mysterious condition that baffled medical experts far and wide. Finally, an astute clinician identified a rare autoimmune disorder, but by the time it was diagnosed, Cathy’s kidneys were failing.
“Don’t worry,” I naively told her. “My friend’s father found his kidney donor through Facebook campaign. If it ever comes to that, we’ll get you a kidney.” Little did I know that one day I would get the call to do just that.
I got the idea to create this campaign after a friend from my publishing days at New York Magazine executed a full-court press to save her father’s life. Kira Krieger Senders: I thank you for dreaming up an incredibly creative multi-media campaign that secured a living kidney donor for your father, Allan. You not only saved your dad, but inspired others to roll up their sleeves and get to work on behalf of good people who are in dire need of a live kidney donor. I cannot thank you enough for leading the way, and for so generously sharing your ideas and resources.
Because I knew I couldn’t go it alone, I reached to out a few friends and colleagues and asked them to help me get this effort launched…pronto. Below are a few of the amazingly generous contributors who jumped onboard the minute I mentioned we were creating a campaign to help a local hero who has spent her life helping others.
— Christy Colasurdo
When it came time to build a website, I posted on Facebook’s ‘Westport Front Porch’ group and asked for “a Christmas Angel” to partner with me to create a website for the “A Kidney for Cathy” campaign. I was humbled by the immediate responses, and chose an energetic wizard to put the wheels in motion on the web design. Not only is James a dynamo and a true professional, but this selfless Staples student with a big heart is only 15-years-old! James created this website in record time, and was a true joy to work with. James, you have confirmed my belief that teenagers rock!
This isn’t the first time that we’ve reached out to Westport’s Designer-in-Chief, Miggs Burroughs, to help create pieces for an identity campaign. About 10 years ago, Miggs helped the Wakeman Town Farm team create iconic branding, including the cheeky and ever-popular “WTF” logo. Over the years, Miggs has cranked out many signature design pieces for the Farm, and we are forever in his debt for helping put Wakeman on the map. This time around, Miggs jumped right in to create the “A Kidney for Cathy” logo, as well as the iconic Yellow Lab mascot, Riley, based on Cathy Talmadge’s beloved pup and faithful companion.
Terri is a go-to consultant on all things “Insta”. In other words, she helps us dinosaurs navigate the bizarre and puzzling intricacies of Instagram and other social media platforms. Terri has been a huge player on the team at Wakeman Town Farm, so I conscripted her into the fold for her expertise as an Instagram strategist. When she’s not helping local organizations like Wakeman and causes like “A Kidney for Cathy,” Terri hosts two podcasts and counsels small business clients at the WDBC (Women’s Business Development Council). If you need help with social media to boost your brand, she’s your gal!
Liz has been my partner in crime at Wakeman Town Farm for more than a decade as co-chairs, friends and colleagues. When it came time to work on a campaign for Cathy, I called Liz and told her I could use her magic touch doing outreach and beating the bushes for potential live donors to provide Cathy with the transplant that will save her life. As a longtime friend and colleague of Cathy’s at the Farm, on the RTM, and on other Town boards, Liz brings her positive energy and resourceful brainpower to help a good friend get the lifesaving kidney she so deserves.