World Kidney Day 2015, March 12th

Team.Photo.CollageBy: Dr. Karin Hehenberger

Today is the 6th year anniversary of my kidney transplant, and I am still going strong! It is easy to forget how badly I felt before the transplant, and how scared I was before I had a plan to address the problem.

I think it is part of human nature to forget some of the anxiety and fears associated with traumatic experiences, as a way to move on. How else does one explain how women go through multiple childbirths, and how survivors from horrible experiences during times of war etc can even love and laugh again? I did not give birth, nor was I tortured or abused, but the trauma of having a critical organ fail and to feel my body slowly deteriorate and weaken, was tough enough for me to consider the choice of just giving up. Having a great network and people around me worth fighting for, saved me from that option, and they are the ones I continue to wake up for every day. My Father gave me one of his kidneys and my Mother nurtured us both after the procedure. Both my sisters supported me, and my friends made me laugh and dream again.

At Lyfebulb we try to make life better for people who have been through or are going through tough situations. Be it the daily chores of chronic diseases such as diabetes or colitis, or the intense treatment periods for cancer patients undergoing chemo or radiation. We have spent the past year building a presence in these communities and our Social Club events are popular highlights for people to connect through. We have assembled a small core team of likeminded people who all are committed to making a difference, since they have seen or been through experiences where they saw how important human interaction and education are.

Our next venture is to raise enough money to place bets on business ventures that aim to make such a difference a reality. Not everything will succeed, but we have a team both educated to assess opportunities scientifically and financially as well as a world class advisory board that can help us derisk our bets. We all are incentivized to succeed, and we have had relevant experiences that will make a critical difference. For example, in my experience I have seen how a purely financially driven entity such as a hedgefund makes investment decisions, how a not for profit disease organization tries to have patient impact and I have been part of the executive teams of large and small companies which places strategic bets to grow the bottom line. Other team members have similar but more specialized backgrounds, for example our CFO and Chief Investment Officer comes from a Wall St. background, and keeps us very honest when it comes to what makes financial sense, while our VP operations, Cassie Lynch comes from a disease organization background and runs our patient outreach. Our board consists of specialists in medicine, science, and business.

My goal is to make a difference for patients, and yet make money for our investors who are behind our mission. I believe in the power of people who are committed because of common experiences and there are numerous examples of successes when people have gone for their passions in life. Keep posted and please let us know if you are working on a project or with a company that is focused on chronic disease and needs help with awareness campaigns such as events we can organize through our Social Club, or capital and strategic advice which will be part of our charter as an Impact platform.

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