It was a warm evening on Cape Cod in 1986.

A family vacation was about to turn into one heck of a hospital visit. At just 3 years old, my tiny little body would lie in a hospital bed with doctors completely puzzled.I was away with my parents, Aunt, Uncle and cousin. I remember we had rented a cabin, or at least I remember it like a cabin. Who knows, it could've been a regular old 80's hotel room, I mean there used to be wood paneling everywhere!

I had been sick on and off, we would get some medicine and I would be okay for a little while. Then the same symptoms would come back and we'd be right where we started. Of course, when you're a 3-year old you don't really know what's going on, you just know your tummy hurts or you're really sleepy. This time, I was pretty violently ill.

3 Year Old Marissa with Cousin Heather Credit: Marissa

After going over everything that was happening with me, doctors had come to the conclusion that it was appendicitis and surgery was a must. Just before my parents had the chance to sign the paperwork a genius of a doctor realized what no other had until that moment: it was my kidneys.

I was a fickle little kid. I say this because as my parents had gone through the potty training process with me and while I was potty trained, I was particular on which bathroom I would choose. Like, I wouldn't use any potty other than my own potty. If you can see where I'm heading with this, I caused my own problem. A serious series of kidney infections, which I was then prone to get for years to follow very easily.

Forward to 2013, I was having a lot of pains on my left side, towards my back. I thought I had pulled a muscle or something, but it was persistent. Ugh, am I dealing with a kidney infection again? No. Worse. Kidney stones. I had three surgeries that year and would only wish that pain on my worst enemy (so don't cross me!)

kidney stone surgery credit: Marissa

This all being said, there are so many issues that can take place with the kidneys and personally having dealt with those that I have (and most likely will again in the future) I'm in full support of Bethany's walk on the run way for the Northeast Kidney Foundation!

There are a couple ways you can help:

You can flat out make a monetary donation by clicking HERE

If you buy a ticket to the Fashion Show, not only does your donation cover your ticket but it'll also go to Bethany's campaign (put her name in the "memo" section) CLICK HERE

And as Bethany said in her post, there are many amazing reasons to help:

"By supporting me in this event you are helping local programs and services including grants that assist with medical, nutrition and housing needs for patients and families right here in the Capital Region!"

Thank you in advance for helping support such an amazing cause! And think about it this way, not only are you helping the kidneys, but you're helping Bethany with her catwalk debut!