There are just some things that your mammy and pappy harrumphed about as dinner table talk. Such things included one’s inner plumbing. Love the folks, but they weren’t always on the spot. While the subject of kidney disease may not have been considered as appropriate in years past, its outing has allowed countless people to learn and help.
Since coming out of the topic closet, the battle against kidney disease has added young people to the ranks of warriors. This situation was apparent on Tuesday, September 20, at Brook Hollow. Sure, it was billed as The Runway Report Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting KidneyTexas, but the Tootsies fashions and luncheon were just lovely window dressing compared to the day’s message.
KidneyTexas President Anna Bland “AB” Aston had overseen the selection of The Price family (Carole Cleveland Price, Alicia and Scott Price, Stacey Price Wright and Larry Wright) as honorary chairs and McKamy Tiner to chair the luncheon.
The reason for McKamy’s chairing the lunching was not due to her being a sixth-generation Dallasite, an Idlewild deb and a 10-year associate of Dave Perry-Miller. It was a very personal reason — childhood bud Ian Arena.
Their families had known each other through Ian’s childhood battling with cancer. Then, at the age of 13, he was diagnosed with kidney disease that had resulted from his chemotherapy. When McKamy’s folks discussed the situation at the dinner table, 15-year-old McKamy declared that she knew that she would be a perfect candidate for Ian’s transplant.
This announcement may have sounded like a very optimistic comment by someone who hadn’t even gotten her driver’s license yet. But to everyone’s surprise but McKamy, she proved to be the perfect match.
As McKamy’s and Ian’s folks (Martha and Michael Tiner and Luncheon Co-Chair Robin Arena) sat nearby admiring their kid hero/ine, Ian told the audience that almost immediately following the transplant, he felt great and color had returned to his face for the first time in years.
Emcee WFAA’s Ron Corning encouraged the filled-to-capacity ballroom including Nancy Carter, Marena Gault, former blond Holly Davis now more brunette-ish, Lisa Cooley with soon-to-be daughter-in-law Bela Pietrovic and some walking wounded types like Vodi Cook with arm in cast and Sharon Popham on a walker, to consider following McKamy’s lead. He told of one man who had donated his kidney to another with the understanding that if and when his grandchild needed a kidney, the child would be higher on the list of recipients.
Then Ron interviewed 16-year-old kidney patient Jira (aka cutest guy in the room), who told how in addition to spending three days a week in dialysis, there was an emotional toll. He felt out of the loop at school due to his kidney disease.
But thanks to efforts and fundraising by KidneyTexas, such transplant recipients like Ian, Christine Martin and Andy Meyercord were all on hand.
But it wasn’t all talk about kidney disease.
In the humor department, Ron once again provided the laughter. In announcing KidneyTexas co-founder Emilynn Wilson was being honored with the Sue Goodnight Award, he said that the plan had been to present her with a nice piece of Baccarat. But realizing that Emilynn had applied a frugal eye to the organization’s dealings, they decided to give her “a bag of M&M’s… the peanut ones. I mean, they’re not the brand name. They’re the ones from Costco, so you get more. They’re nicely wrapped. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.”
And as for the fashions, Jan Strimple‘s fashion show featuring Tootsies day- and night-time clothes went flawlessly until… well, there was that dramatic series of black gowns highlighted by towering black hats. It was like a bewitching grouping of Herve Leger, Cinq A Sept, David Koma and ML Monique Lhuillier. The almost-oops resulted when the first model in the series walked the elevated runway down the center of the room… right under the ballroom’s mammoth chandeliers.
Yup, you guessed it. It was a brief encounter of “towering black hat” with the room’s center “mammoth chandelier.” But you’ve got to hand it to the model. The hat stayed put and she didn’t lose a beat. Her reward was the guests smiling in amazement that she had handled it masterfully. Evidently word was passed among the lovely catwalkers and the rest of the lineup steered clear of the hanging glass and light fixture.
This year’s beneficiaries include Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Health/Children Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal — National Kidney Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Methodist Health System Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.
If you couldn’t make the lunch and missed the moving stories and the show’s tip of the hat, you can still donate to KidneyTexas or sign up to be considered as a transplant. There are more than 4,000 Texans in need of a healthy kidney that you could share.
For more photos of the fashions and folks in the audience, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.