SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Kidney Foundation continues to work tirelessly to fight kidney disease and local residents can assist in that battle by simply going to a movie next Monday night.
The foundation will host a scholarship fundraiser July 16 at 7 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse Park North in the 600 block of NW Loop 410, where the new movie “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” will be shown. Food and drinks will be available at 6 p.m.
Now in its fifth year, the fundraiser has helped save lives and the cause is close to the KSAT family because of the Maria I. Villanueva Scholarship.
The scholarship was established by KSAT's "Instant Replay" sports producer Daniel Villanueva on behalf of his mother.
Villanueva’s mother was diagnosed with kidney failure and spent most of the 1990s on dialysis.
After years of waiting, she finally received a kidney transplant in the fall of 1999. Villanueva wanted to help families going through similar battles.
“I remember our lives turning upside down when my mom got kidney disease, seeing our house turn into kind of a warehouse with dialysis boxes and mounting medical bills," Villanueva said. "We almost lost our home and when we finally got a kidney transplant and it changed everything. It adds so much more hope. And this is all to honor her.”
Despite trying times, Villanueva said his parents always made education a priority and still made it a point to get him to college.
“We’re helping those students and families that just need a little bit, to start a dream or complete a dream and get a college education,” Villanueva said.
Three scholarships will be awarded this year and a total of 10 have been given since the fundraiser began.
The scholarships go to individuals associated with kidney disease, students who have donated a kidney, might be on dialysis themselves or are the child of a parent who is fighting kidney disease.
It is the only scholarship in the state of Texas that is related to kidney disease. Villanueva said 100 percent of funds raised goes to scholarship recipients.
“Every little bit helps. Everything we do with the foundation and scholarship is giving another life to these people and hopefully it keeps going forward,” Villanueva said. “Just because you have dialysis or kidney failure, it doesn’t mean it's a death sentence. You can continue to have a life.”
Every $25 donation gets a person the chance to win a night stay at the La Cantera Resort and use of a Mercedes-Benz for the weekend.