The Kyle MacFarlane Foundation

Funding research and awareness in the field of neurogastroenterology and motility

Kyle MacFarlane Receives Modesto Nuts Hometown Hero Award

Kyle MacFarlane co-founder of The Kyle MacFarlane foundation, was honored during the 2nd Annual Hometown Hero night during a Modesto Nuts baseball game, held at John Thurman Field in Modesto, California, September 2, 2011.

MacFarlane, who suffers from a still incurable debilitating gastroenterological disease was selected as a Hometown Hero for his work in starting a foundation for research in the field of gastrointestinal dysmotility, as well as his determination to make a difference to help others who also suffer from these types of disorders.

MacFarlane takes daily injections to properly digest and get nutrients from food. To this day, his symptoms are not fully understood, but his pursuit to start the foundation will help fund research and to inform doctors in the diagnosis and current treatments that have helped him stay alive.

MacFarlane was nominated as a Hometown Hero by Michael Welch, Associate Director of Development at Stanford University School of Medicine. Welch’s letter to the Modesto Nuts nominating MacFarlane read:

On August 10th, I was fortunate to meet a young man who personifies courage and determination. I know those two words are often used in tandem, as if you couldn’t have one without the other, but the fact is they’re two very different things.  Courage, in the case of Kyle MacFarlane, means enduring pain in the moment and fearing the future because of his debilitating gastroenterological disease.  Determination means altering the course of his life to accommodate his disease and then moving on as if nothing much had happened. In high school, Kyle was a promising baseball player who could field any position and looked like he was on track for a college scholarship before fate intervened.  In no time at all, he had lost 50 pounds and any hope of playing ball at the level where he once thrived.  One of the many frustrations he must deal with now is the lack of clarity around his disease.  His doctors here at Stanford, where I work, are not sure of the diagnosis.  Like so many diseases of the digestive system, there are probably several in play at once.  One thing his doctors are sure of, however, is that Kyle will endure, if only because of his will and the strong support he’s received at home.I am sure there are many worthy heroes in the Modesto area, including no doubt young men and women who’ve put aside their careers and even sacrificed their lives defending their country.  Kyle’s story is not very dramatic, compared to those who’ve fought overseas.  It is the story of a young man who stayed home to fight a chronic disease. But Kyle’s story isn’t just about his personal battle.  It also about his recent decision to create a foundation, which will help others who suffer from chronic diseases of the digestive system.  It isn’t easy to create a foundation, to put oneself out in front of a cause and serve as the poster boy for a disease.  It would be easier to suffer in silence. I haven’t mentioned the names of the diseases Kyle may have, because I don’t think they’re the story here.  I think Kyle is the story and his story is like so many others.  Who are those people?  Everyone who suffers from a chronic disease that requires the courage to get out of bed and the conviction that it’s possible to make it through the day.

On any given day or night, I’m sure there are many people in your stadium who can relate to Kyle’s story and would consider it an honor to be there when he’s recognized as a Hometown Hero.  I hope you will agree. Michael Welch
Associate Director of Development Stanford University School of Medicine Immunity, Transplantation.


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