A Prestigious Honor
December 19, 2019
“I’m honored by this award. I know the importance of the impact and support provided by the National Kidney Foundation, as my younger brother is on a kidney transplant list,” said Ron Deka, supervisor, Regional Operations Line & Substations, The Illuminating Company (CEI).
Ron is referring to the 2019 Tedd Wiley Outstanding Volunteer Award presented by the foundation This prestigious award recognizes a northern Ohio individual who has contributed at an extraordinary level of leadership, and whose unselfish and dedicated service to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has made a significant difference in the progression of the organization’s mission. The award is named after Tedd Wiley, an exceptional NKF board member and volunteer who passed two years ago. Ron is the second recipient.
Ron said his inspiration for working with NKF started with CEI’s involvement with the organization, as well as the fact that his brother, a coworker and a family friend need kidney donors.
Ron’s brother, Kevin, was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 8, then with diabetes when he was 18. Now 52, he’s been on dialysis for five years – waiting for a life-extending kidney transplant.
Kevin is a father of five adult children, including three that he fostered and then adopted. His son was just diagnosed with diabetes, and Kevin hopes that someday medicine and technology will be more advanced to help him.
“In addition to being a loving father, Kevin is a treasured brother of four siblings; the cherished son of our mom, Luci; and he’s a friend to so many others,” said Ron. “We want him to live his best life.”
In his effort to support Kevin and the millions of others suffering from kidney disease, Ron is passionate about his NKF work. He helps to lead the FirstEnergy Kidney Walk team to Top Fundraiser level every year. And, as a member of the NKF Konica Minolta Golf Classic committee, he has helped grow the event over the past few years. Ron also coordinates the National Kidney Foundation health screening for employees at CEI’s Northern Region Headquarters.
Ron recently received the Wiley award at the National Kidney Foundation Dining with the Stars event in Cleveland. Ron’s family and coworkers helped him celebrate this momentous occasion.
“There are so many people touched by kidney disease and its devastating effects. I’m just happy I can help in some way,” he said. “I’m also very thankful for the support I’ve received from FirstEnergy and my CEI coworkers.”
The National Kidney Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.
“This recognition is very dear to my heart,” Ron added.