Published June 16, 2020 | Even the simplest act can have a huge impact. While the ongoing pandemic has kept many indoors, Toni Stuart used this time at home to raise awareness of PKD. With the help of her family and her own two hands, she sewed cloth masks to benefit the PKD Foundation and her community.
Sharing her story in her neighborhood’s newsletter, Toni noted the critical need and demand for masks in her Las Vegas suburb, Sun City Aliante. Along with the help of her son, a temporarily out-of-work costume designer and entertainer, they got to work. Customers had three options to choose from, including a special PKD branded mask supporting the Foundation. To make the PKD branded masks all the more special, Toni utilized old Walk for PKD t-shirts for the lining.
“My son, Sean, found a pattern for a mask, and we started making them with the logo of the charity I support, the PKDF,” said Toni. “I posted a photo of the mask online with my charity’s information, everyone loved it. Then we started getting requests for masks.”
The creative venture quickly took off. Together, the family made over 200 masks (a mix of masks benefitting the PKDF and non-charitable options). Beyond helping the PKDF, they also donated 37 cloth masks to a local convalescent home.
“It’s been really fun, and it’s kept us busy doing something worthwhile for the community,” Toni shared.
For each mask, Toni requests a $20 donation. Five dollars goes directly to the PKDF and the remainder to postage and materials. So far, she’s raised $280 in donations for the PKD Foundation.
A PKD patient herself, Toni’s journey began more than a decade ago. “I’ve learned so much in the last 11 years,” she shared. Toni connected with the Foundation at the Orlando PKDCon. With its old coordinators moving to Florida, she took over the role of Las Vegas Chapter Walk Coordinator. Toni’s now in her fourth year as a Walk Coordinator and has loved seeing the supportive environment the Walk for PKD creates. With the PKDF’s dedication to finding treatments and a cure, Toni is proud to be doing her part in raising awareness of PKD in her community.
Through the Fundraise Your Way program, patients and families can create their own DIY fundraisers just like Toni. All it takes is a little creativity and passion. Simply choose how your fundraiser, set a donation goal, and establish your own fundraising page through our user-friendly platform. In supporting life-changing research and raising awareness of PKD, the only limit is your imagination.