Written by Christopher Anderson
“Laughs for Lizzie” is being held to raise money and awareness for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) for the PKD Foundation and will feature local Boston comedian Christine Hurley. The fundraiser takes place April 27, 2017 at the McKeon Post (4 Hill Top Street Dorchester, MA) from 7pm-11pm. This fundraiser was created to support the PKD Foundation and its largest fundraising event, the Walk for PKD, takes place every September in cities across the nation.
Southie resident Elizabeth Hogan (originally from Plymouth) was first diagnosed with PKD at age 12 and her response to her diagnosis differed from how most would react. At the time PKD was not well known and Hogan saw this as an opportunity to be a spokeswoman and raise awareness.
“My family and I first started Laughs for Lizzie in the years after I was diagnosed. This was around the same time Christine Hurley had begun her comedy career in ‘Nick at Nite’s America’s Funniest Mom.’ My family lives in Plymouth, as does Christine Hurley, and through good old West Elementary School our families became great friends. When my Mom pitched the Laughs for Lizzie idea to Mrs. Hurley she said yes without hesitation.”
Hogan and her family made ‘End PKD’ bracelets, participated in walks, and even advocated in front of audiences in DC to help bring attention to the disease.
More than 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide battle PKD every day.
PKD has no cure and has been around for years. The only “treatment” is dialysis or a transplant. PKD is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases, affecting more people than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and sickle cell anemia – combined.
Hogan explains that her altruistic approach to her diagnosis is influenced by her parents her helped guide her in how to respond to adversity.
“My parents are the type of people who never give up. We have been through a lot together as a family and giving in was never an option,” Hogan shares. “We laugh our way through the tough times and it has worked well so far! My Mom and Dad both helped me realize that I have PKD, PKD does not have me.”
While Hogan is lucky enough today be medication free, she does not take this good fortune for granted. In fact in serves as a driving force behind her advocacy.
“I am not the picture of PKD. I have Polycystic Kidney Disease but if you saw me on the street you wouldn’t know it. I don’t look sick and I don’t feel sick,” she explains. “Right now, my kidneys are functioning normally and I’m healthy. Because I am healthy, I need to fight for those who are too sick to do so.”
If you want to get involved in the cause to help find a cure for PKD or to purchase tickets for Laughs for Lizzie please email Elizabeth [email protected] Tickets are just $20 for a night of comedy, raffle prizes, and cash bar.
The fundraiser takes place April 27, 2017 at the McKeon Post (4 Hill Top Street Dorcester, MA) and will be from 7pm-11pm