Entertainment lawyer Ken Kleinberg was inspired to raise awareness and funds for kidney disease research after suffering from a kidney ailment in 1999. Doctors were never able to determine the cause of the problem and by 2001, his kidneys failed. He was a dialysis patient for the next six years until receiving a successful kidney transplant in 2007.
In 2002, with a small group of committed individuals and with the help of Dr. Vito M. Campese, then Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at USC Keck School of Medicine, Ken established UKRO as a non-profit organization to provide support for kidney disease research.
Henry David, Chief Financial Officer
Henry David is a living-donor kidney transplant recipient and a former dialysis patient, and has suffered from chronic kidney disease for many years as a result of diabetes. He is a member of the Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO) and serves on the board of directors of TRIO’s Ventura County West Valley Chapter.
Henry is an entrepreneurial businessman who began as an intern at Melco Wire Products in Glendale in 1961 and retired as President and CEO in 2000, when he closed the factory. In the intervening years, he also established Melco Trading Company, brokering commodities, and the Coronado Cement Company, importing shiploads of cement into San Diego. In 2000, Melco Engineering—which Henry continues to run—began operation as a virtual firm that manufactures tools for blood-bank donor rooms.
As marketer, art director, event planner, graphic designer, artist, and writer, Michelle Fairchild has worn many hats in the kidney care field. For the last dozen years, she has worked at DaVita as an employee and a creative consultant and joined the UKRO team in January of 2010. She is committed to using her creative talents to make a difference in people’s lives. Her UKRO blog, Diary of a Kidney Lover, chronicles her experiences as an emerging kidney advocate and family member of a dialysis patient.
Michelle enjoys reading, writing, art, and design, and has recently started writing a blog on the arts in Los Angeles.