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Ilysa Needs Your Support

Ilysa’s life was changed forever in June 2016 when she contracted a near fatal blood infection which caused her body to go into septic shock, shutting down her vital organs. It is extremely rare for this to affect a young, healthy person, but the illness caused blood clots to form in her extremities, and soon led to gangrene and subsequent amputations of all four of her extremities. She lost both feet below the knees, and both hands below the elbows. The illness also left Ilysa with End Stage Renal Disease, or kidney failure. As a result, she will be on dialysis until she gets a kidney transplant.

Updates (11)

November 8, 2017

Our story has just been published on PeopleTV. They did an amazing job treating Ilysa's story with dignity and respect. We hope you find it inspriing! Link below...

August 13, 2017

I'm SO PLEASED to be sharing the news that ILYSA RECEIVED A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT earlier this week, and after a short hospital stay we came home last night.

There really are no words to describe the donor - beautiful in spirit, kind, generous, empathetic - none of these capture the gift she has given to my family.

Similarly, there are no words to describe our gratitude to her and her family. This woman, a stranger to us, and her family and friends, came to us through Renewal after learning of Ilysa's story and our struggles, and her act of kindness has changed the course of Ilysa's life forever.

Ilysa will no longer be tied to dialysis, she will have more energy, her blood pressure will improve, she can eat and drink, she'll be able to travel... The health benefits are countless. But more than any of that, she'll be able to be there more for our children.

Thank you Catriona Ni Aolain. My sincerest hope is that Ilysa uses your gift to show the world just how much adversity a person can overcome, and that she touches lives in the process.

Looking forward and feeling grateful...

- Steven


January 17, 2018

Ilysa, I am just learning of all of this and am in total shock but know that you are so very strong and determined, smart and can do this. You are such a leader and I admire you so very much. Sending tons and tons of love and good healing wishes your way,
Lauren Collins (Porter's mom) looks like we moved out of NYC right when you got sick

Lauren Collins

October 16, 2017

Hi Ilysa and Steve,
I just heard tonight of your ordeal. While the news was shocking and sad, it was fitting that it came from a Reade St alum. Arthur and Rishi haven't connected since Reade St, but now they're on the same soccer team -- as is Mason--and we learned from them. It's heart warming that there's a community of kids that you've made such a lasting impression on.

Arthur's experience at RSP was wonderful, and it really helped lay a foundation for an academic and social life in which he's flourishing. He's now a student at BASIS. I SO appreciate all that you, Steve and your team have done and are doing to cultivate such goodness.

I'm inspired by your strength, and hope that future keeps getting brighter for you. Anna, Arthur and I are sending you thoughts of love and health and hope that our small contribution can help.

Bob Stevens

September 28, 2017

Ilysa, I have been following your journey and am so moved by the story of your kidney match and thrilled to hear this update. The generosity of Catriona a stranger who felt your pain and took such a leap, is inspirational to me as a mother of young children in your community. Both of your families have incredible role models in you to look up to that will inspire me as a mother, a friend, and a stranger that also can help make the world a better place.

Sarah Lambert