As the largest literary event of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Kidney Foundation’s annual author’s luncheon is a treat for anyone passionate about literature. This year’s luncheon was especially poignant, given the pandemic’s widespread impact on kidney patients and transplant recipients who have faced an even greater threat of severe infection and mortality from COVID-19.
The literary star-studded virtual event, held in conjunction with literary partner Book Passage on December 5, was a compilation of internationally acclaimed authors who have penned some of the most avidly read books of the pandemic. The lineup included Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half, Marcia Goldman, The Lola Goes to…Series, John Grisham, A Time for Mercy, Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile, Jason Rosenthal, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir and Gail Tsukiyama, The Color of Air. Each took a turn sharing their thoughts and stories, with some reading passages from their own novels. Kelly Corrigan, best-selling author and the host of Kelly Corrigan Wonders Podcast and PBS’s Tell Me More, was master of ceremonies.
To illustrate the National Kidney Foundation’s impact as a resource for credible information on kidney disease, Chris and Rachel Blevins shared a video story of their son Logan, who was born in prematurely in 2011 with a rare genetic kidney disorder. Logan had to have both kidneys removed when he was three and a half months old, and received a donated kidney from his own father when he was almost two.
The fundraiser’s festivities officially kicked off the evening prior to the luncheon, with an exclusive Meet the Authors gathering on December 4. Hosted by renowned author and journalist, KQED’s Michael Krasny, the intimate Friday evening event allowed VIP ticketholders to pose questions to the presenting authors and get a sneak peek into each writer’s thought processes and inspirations. As guests listened, they also enjoyed select wines from J. Lohr and participated in a virtual auction hosted by Liam Mayclem.
Event sponsors included Satellite Healthcare, Wilson Dow, Ardelyx, Kaiser Permanente and Union Bank. National Kidney Foundation has worked diligently to close healthcare disparities and support a diverse population of kidney disease patients.
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Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.