JUST ADDED: Caroline Steinkamp

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St. Louis vocalist, Caroline Steinkamp will kick off our 7th annual Kaitlin’s Benefit for Life at Failoni’s on Saturday, April 20!

This is Caroline’s third time performing at #KB4L and we couldn’t be more excited! You won’t want to miss this vocal-powerhouse when she hits the stage at 2:30 p.m.!

Doors open at 2 p.m.!

7 Years Ago Today

Seven years ago this morning we received the phone call no one wants to get, “you need to come to the ER”.  They would not tell us the status over the phone but we knew.  Our Kaitlin was gone.  During the drive to the hospital so many thoughts and emotions run thru your head.  I really don’t know how my husband was able to drive.

We were ushered into a private room and told the particulars.  We were asked if she was an organ donor and we said yes.  Thus began our relationship with the wonderful people at Mid America Transplant and it has been a wonderful way to help and be helped by those who understand the myriads of emotions that overtake someone in this type of life event.

I write this today because I hope it will help someone out there to know that there are people who need organ donation, that organ donation is another way for someone to live on and leave a legacy of life when death is what you see.

In past posts I have told you a little about Kaitlin and her joy for life.  She was highly spirited and the room would come alive when she entered it.  Her friends have stayed loyal to her and this event and it means so much to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  

We all live with the pain of loss in different ways.  Karen Cantrell once said that “We all have questions as to why our child, grandchild or sibling is no longer here.  A friend of mine stated that even if we had the answer, it wouldn’t be good enough.”  I agree totally.  

The goal for us at KB4L, is to help where we can, educate when we can and celebrate all life the best we know how.  The folks at the transplant house are waiting for their miracle and a second chance to fulfill their lives and dreams.  As Kaitlin’s life was cut short, it helps to know that her legacy of love and giving lives on thru the people who donate to the event with material items, money and time.  She continues to bring many to the table to celebrate life and to develop more friendships that will last.

Thank you to all who work with us on this event.  We hope you will come and enjoy the day with us.  This event is on Easter weekend and I know all are very busy.  However, resurrection is the point of Easter weekend and that is what organ and tissue donation can do.  It was a Good Friday when Kaitlin left us.  It seems more than fitting to celebrate life at this time.

We hope to see you on April 20th to celebrate life and second chances.  We cannot go back and change the beginning, but we can change how we choose to live from this day forward.  Celebrate Life.

 

 

Classic Cars During #KB4L

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Our attending friends from Fords Unlimited are showing off a small selection of classic cars during Kaitlin’s Benefit for Life celebration on Saturday, April 20!

You won’t want to miss checking out these beauties! Cars on display outside Failoni’s starting at 2 p.m.!

LIVE MUSIC: Bull’s Eye Band

Final_KB4L_Band_FinalThe #KB4L team is beyond thrilled to announce Bull’s Eye Band will play at our 7th annual Kaitlin’s Benefit for Life on Saturday, April 20 at Failoni’s Restaurant and Bar!

A local quartet, Bull’s Eye Band brings a variety of classic rock, blues and country covers with them to the stage. It’s sure to be a big day- so bring your friends, family and comfy shoes because band starts rockin’ at 3 p.m.!

Bull’s Eye Band Features:

Mike Edwards – Bass, Lead Vocals
Rick Littlejohn – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Bob Walker – Keyboard, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Chuck Bowman – Drums, Percussion

We Are Family

47CCF42E-439F-4F0A-BDB1-620044BF5610Today is St. Patrick’s Day when everyone claims to be a little bit Irish.  Kaitlin McKeirnan was more than a  little bit Irish and our family embraces all our heritages.  Looking at family and seeing where you have come from can be fun and informative.  Looking at the past can teach us a great deal, but looking toward the future is even more important.

I said in the last post I would share what some of the recipient families have told us regarding what this  benefit means to them.  Nearly a year after losing Kaitlin, we received a letter from an older gentleman who thanked us for her gift.  Because of her tissue and muscle donation he was able to walk and play with his grandchildren.  It seemed appropriate that we would hear from a geriatric when Kaitlin had spent 5 years working with the geriatric population and now she was truly a part of it.

At one benefit, the father of young girl who had received a heart transplant, gave us a bear hug and told us how grateful he was for our family and families like ours.  He was sorry for our loss but he knew that because of such loss he had his little girl.

When our family was grieving the loss of Kaitlin, we had the television on but I am not sure we were really watching it.  It was an episode of Criminal Minds.  It was an older one in which JJ was having to leave the BAU and go to another department and she did not want to leave.  She said this:

“This is not what I want, but I’ll take the high road. Maybe it’s because I look at everything as a lesson- or because I don’t want to walk around angry- or maybe it’s because I finally understand there are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept.  Things we don’t want to know but have to learn; and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”

Anyone who must let a loved one go will always feel that loss.  Time does not heal a wound like that, but we can try to learn to live with that loss.  For our family, KB4L is a way to make something good out of something horrible, and give second chances to others.  Every recipient we have met has not only been extremely grateful for their gift of life, but assures us they are making the best out of the second chance of life they have been given.

Every day can be a new beginning for all of us.  We get to choose what we do with it today, and organ donation assures us that we can still continue to give to others when we are no longer here.

Sign up to be an organ donor.  There will be people at the Benefit that can help you with that or go to your local DMV and ask how.  

See you April 20th at Failoni’s!!!  

2019 Team Transplant Saint Louis Trivia Night

On Saturday, March 9, 2019 the #KB4L team attended Team Transplant Saint Louis Trivia Night at Machinists Hall.

It was an admirable evening surrounded by many vibrant spirits who have in some way been affected by organ transplantation. Among several were donor families, living donors and donor recipients. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on a variety of silent auction items, enter to win the 50/50 raffle or win two large raffle prizes, including a wheelbarrow full of liquor and a St. Louis Cardinals ticket package.

Both of our tables indulged in delicious snacks and beverages while challenging our knowledge in various trivia rounds. Multiple breaks occurred throughout the game to remember those who sacrificed the gift of life to save those in need of organ and tissue care.

As the evening concluded, we remembered how much Kaitlin was playful and competitive, and as her family and friends came together we all couldn’t help but to feel her presence with us throughout the evening.

Thank you so much Team Transplant Saint Louis for hosting another successful event!

We hope to see everyone at Failoni’s on Saturday, April 20, 2019!

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Did you know…

St. Louis has surpassed 10,000 organ transplants?  That is 10,000 miracles and second chances for a fulfilling life!  

Did you know that once you are at the top of a transplant recipient list, you must be within an hour of the hospital in case you get the call to  get your miracle?  These are the families that KB4L helps through our benefit.  Families must move here from all over the country and live here while awaiting their chance at this precious gift.

All the money we raise at the benefit goes to help  families with the cost of day to day things like parking, gas and hundreds of other things that are needed while they stay here.  Once the transplant is completed, they must still remain here for a time while they see if the surgery will be successful.

We try to help these families with financial assistance but also with letting them know that we care about the whole family.  We have met several families and recipients .  St. Louis is well known for our transplant work and the teams are awesome and dedicated to  their work.

Next week I will share with you some of the things the families have shared with us about what this benefit means to them.  In the meantime, make plans to see us at Failoni’s, drop us a line or donate whatever you can for our raffles and auctions.  We love to hear from you.

 

 

Welcome to KB4L

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We thought you may want to know more about us and why we do what we do.

Have you ever had a moment in time that is so life changing?  It could be winning the big game, getting a car or a job, or a cute  and cuddly puppy.  Many things can form and shape our lives.  

On April 6, 2012, our family had one such moment.  We received a call from Barnes Hospital that there had been an accident and that we needed to come to the hospital.  I will not go into what was going through our heads and hearts at that time, that is for another time.  What I can tell you is that our daughter, Kaitlin was gone.  Kaitlin was an organ donor and we honored that wish.

That simple selfless act has opened a new chapter in our lives and the lives of Kaitlin’s friends.  A simple desire to remember and honor our daughter, sister, family and friend; has become something bigger and far better than we could have thought.  We have met so many wonderful people on this journey.  Donor and recipient families share a bond that is very special.

As we prepare for the 7th annual Kaitlin’s Benefit For Life, we want to bring you with us behind the scenes and share this time with you.  This is a journey that will surprise you.  Thank you for coming!

We’ll see you on April 20!

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Kaitlin’s Benefit for Life Team is happy to announce the seventh annual Mid-America Transplant Family House Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, April 20 at Failoni’s Restaurant and Bar in celebration of National Donate Life Month.

All donations raised will benefit Mid-America Transplant Family House, which offers safe and affordable mid- to long term single family apartment living for patients and their families who must relocate to St. Louis to receive life-saving pre- and post-transplant care.

Entry is $25 at the door and will include food, live music, outdoor games and access to a large variety of raffle and silent auction prizes. The fundraiser will start at 2 p.m. and run through 7 p.m.

For latest announcements follow #KB4L on Facebook and Instagram!