SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – Folks can sample a variety of home-cooked chowders and chili this weekend in Kingston, and also help a local woman whose body is rejecting the life-saving kidney she received two years ago.
The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Kingston is holding the chili-chowder competition from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday to benefit Joyce Bourque’s kidney fund at Help Hope Live, a non-profit foundation that manages funds for people like Bourque with life-threatening health issues.
After 10 years of struggling with kidney disease, Bourque received a transplant, but now her body is rejecting it.
Active in the community before her illness, Bourque is the mother of three and grandmother of nine.
Bourque received her kidney transplant in April of 2018 after seven years on dialysis and nearly 10 years after she was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure.
“I am so, so grateful, and I wish that was the end of my story, but after almost two years without problems, my body is now rejecting that kidney,” Bourque wrote on her Help Hope Live campaign web page.
Bourque, of North Kingstown, said she’s undergoing tests and facing a lot of uncertainty, but trying to keep her spirits up.
“There is so much I want to live for – my three children and my nine grandchildren. I want to be able to give back for all the blessings I’ve received,” she said. “But the cost of staying alive is very high.” Despite having insurance, many of her medical needs are not covered and must be paid out-of-pocket. “On top of the ongoing expenses I’ve been paying, now there will be many new ones,” she said.
Her children, Ben, R.J. and Aidyn Bourque, describe Joyce as a devoted mother, “team manager, general manager, incorporator, cheerleader, fundraiser, babysitter, first-aid supplier and trip organizer on many of our teams.”
That support now also extends to her grandchildren, they said.
Besides enjoying a delicious supper, attendees at Saturday’s benefit can participate in the judging by casting a vote for their favorite chili or chowder in the “People’s Choice” category.
Additional judging will take place and prizes will be awarded to the winning entries. Church members and friends have registered to compete with their special favorite recipes.
Tickets cost $10 and all proceeds will go to Bourque’s fund.
For more information, call the church office at (401) 789-7776. The church is located at 383 Old North Road, east of the University of Rhode Island campus and north of the Flagg Road intersection.
Donations to help Bourque can also be sent directly to Help Hope Live. Gifts must be labeled “in honor of Joyce Bourque” or “campaign 376.”
Learn more about Joyce’s story and donate online at helphopelive.org/campaign/376 or mail to HelpHOPELive, 2 Radnor Corporate Center, 100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100, Radnor, PA 19087 and mark checks with Bourque’s name and/or campaign number.