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NephCure Kidney International’s Annual Countdown to a Cure Gala is on Track for a Record-Breaking Year in New York City


NephCure Kidney International (NephCure) announced that its 14thannual Countdown to a Cure Gala. The event will be held Thursday, November 8 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, nears its goal of raising one million dollars.

The proceeds from the event will support new treatments for Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), IgA Nephropathy, and other diseases that cause primary Nephrotic Syndrome. FSGS is a rare and chronic kidney disease and the leading cause of kidney failure in children. IgA Nephropathy is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease worldwide, with approximately half of all individuals eventually developing kidney failure. Both FSGS and IgA Nephropathy can reoccur in up to 60% of kidney transplants. NephCure has devoted the past two decades towards investing in essential kidney disease research and is now in the final phases of bringing new therapies to patients.

Matthew Levine speaks at Countdown 2017.
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Joshua Tarnoff, NephCure Chief Executive Officer notes, “Through nearly 20 years of NephCure-sponsored research, this relatively small organization has facilitated the creation of several promising drugs that are now in late-phase clinical trials. We have the rare opportunity to bring the first-ever approved treatments for FSGS, IgA Nephropathy, and Nephrotic Syndrome to our patients in the next several years.” Funds raised from this event will help launch a “Kidney Health Gateway,” an application that will quickly connect patients to trials, streamline research communication, and educate kidney doctors and their patients on available drug studies.

James C. McKenna, Chief Executive Officer and President of Hunter Roberts Construction Group (Hunter Roberts), will be honored at the event for his efforts towards finding a cure for Nephrotic Syndrome. McKenna is a civil engineer and talented builder with extensive experience in the Metropolitan New York area. Under McKenna’s exceptional leadership qualities and building skills, Hunter Roberts has quickly positioned itself to adapt to market trends and demands and is a leader in many markets. With McKenna at the helm, Hunter Roberts has completed unique and impactful projects – such as VIA 57 West, the MSK Laboratory Medicine Building, and Pier 57 – which have forever changed the New York landscape.

“It is an honor to be recognized at this important event,” said McKenna. “NephCure Kidney International has fought tirelessly for individuals affected by these terrible diseases. It makes me hopeful to see that their diligent research is beginning to bring new treatments and therapies to the market. I am proud of all the hard work that this organization has done. I look forward to continuing to work with NephCure until we cure these rare diseases.”

Countdown to a Cure 2018 Honoree, James C. McKenna

Joy and Noah Kerlin and family of Hamilton, New Jersey will also share their story. Noah is nine years old and was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome two years ago. Due to his high-dose steroid regimen, he is now growing at a slower rate than his twin brother. Noah says, “I wish a cure could be found for Nephrotic Syndrome. I don’t like having to explain it to my friends, and I don’t like how worried my parents always are.”

Michael Levine, Event Chair, Vice President of NephCure Kidney International and owner of L&L Painting in Melville, New York, will also speak at the event. Levine’s teenage son Matthew has suffered from FSGS since he was three years old, and along with his family, Levine is a dedicated advocate for new and better treatments for the disease.

NephCure thanks all the sponsors whose support will help raise more than one million dollars this year. To date, the annual Countdown to a Cure gala has raised more than seven million dollars for NephCure to advance research into effective treatments for patients with Nephrotic Syndrome. This year’s event is made possible in part through support from gold sponsors Edward and Lisa Vaughan, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, and many others.

For tickets to the event, or to make a donation, please go to

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