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NSF's Peer Team is a group of older teens / young adults, here to support younger patients and teens with Nephrotic Syndrome. They are here to support, share and talk with you / your child as you travel this journey. Look for virtual peer groups, topic talks, "pen-pal" connections, meet-ups, activities, and more. 


Peer Team Leads are a small group of inspirational individuals who run our Peer Team program. All at various stages of their journey with Nephrotic Syndrome, these individuals are making huge waves in the world!


Peer Team Membership - We offer an array of impactful ways for older patients to get involved. Reach us below to join the family!

NSF's Peer Connections - Even the youngest patients can contribute! NSF's Connections program gives patients 13 and under an opportunity to give back and support others while connecting with others who walk the same path. Join us for card making, activities and more,


Next Event: Saturday, June 22nd @ 10am PST (Virtual)

NSF's Connections program gives younger patients (13 and under) an opportunity to have some fun while connecting with others who walk the same path.

Stay tuned for additional details and specifics around this event!


NSF's Peer Team is for young adult patients, ages 14 years and up, who want to get involved in actively and positively giving back to younger patients who share

the journey with Nephrotic Syndrome. 

Under 14 years old? Join our Peer Connections program for younger patients!

Siblings welcome!

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Ann Arbor, MI

Hi, I'm Nicki! In 2019 I was diagnosed with IgM Nephropathy at the age of 21. I am currently 26 and thriving! The first couple years of my illness, I worked my way through all of the conventional treatments that were deemed good options for me, but failed to reach remission. Fast forward to the present, and I am regaining my health under naturopathic care utilizing a functional, root cause approach. I have never felt better! And I am very blessed that my nephrologist supports my efforts to heal in novel ways.

My journey with nephrotic syndrome has inspired me to pursue certification to become a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner in 2024. I am excited to see where this new journey takes me. I have been an avid member of the Peer Team for several years now and there is nothing more fulfilling than connecting with, inspiring and sharing hope with fellow patients and their families. NSF is such a wonderful organization and I'm very grateful to be involved!

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Boston, MA

Hi, I'm Mikaela! In January of 2020, I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. I was 16 years old. It began with facial and leg edema that I assumed was holiday weight gain. After a trip to my pediatrician and the pediatric emergency room, we got a confirmed diagnosed of Nephrotic Syndrome and I was admitted to the hospital for the first time. I was discharged only a few days later with a prescription of prednisone, I later found out I was steroid resistant. My incredible team of doctors worked hard to manage the extreme edema I was experiencing. This led to acute kidney injury that needed to heal before we could proceed with a new prescription of Tacrolimus. Since January of this year  I’ve had 5 separate inpatient stays ranging from 3 days to a month. In March we completed a kidney biopsy to figure out the cause. The results of the biopsy were Minimal Change Disease. Now, five months after the original diagnosis I am slowing entering remission.

Outside of the hospital, I am a junior at a technical and agricultural high school studying Equine Science heading into my senior year! I volunteer at a local equine rescue to help rehabilitate, retrain and rehome  local horses in need. I was a competitive gymnast up until I was 14, when I gave up the sport to focus on horses. At home, I have a younger brother and a dog named Oreo. I'm passionate about mental health, advocating for yourself as a patient and can't wait to help others going through this journey know they are not alone. 

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Richmond, VA

Hi, I'm Michelle! My journey began July 2020, just two weeks before my flight to University of Richmond. After several blood works and a kidney biopsy during my 10-day hospitalization,  I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome (NS) and Minimal Change Disease (MCD). After many other treatment trials that resulted in hospitalization and anaphylaxis, I found a medication that kept me stable enough to move states for school, but not enough for me to reach remission. 


My condition did not prevent me from continuing my academics. Although my family suggested I defer, I continued through my first semester of college virtually, communicated with the school dean and professors, and finished with a 3.5 GPA. I learned that despite experiencing a global pandemic, grieving for my lost family members, and even dealing with my own incurable disease, I was resilient enough to keep going and nothing can stop me. 


I know my story is not the only one. Being hospitalized in a pediatric hospital made me realize that if I am scared about the uncertainty of my future due to this life-changing diagnosis, then I bet other patients and their loved ones must also be worried. I aspire to attend medical school to become like the doctors who took care of me and served as role models that made medical school seem possible. But most importantly, I aspire to become a physician to directly impact the lives of patients with a difficult diagnosis by researching for better treatments and providing them hope as someone who can empathize with them. I also enjoy reading/watching sci-if/dystopian novels/ shows/movies. I do also play the violin or video games. 

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Taos, NM

Hi, I’m Cynthia! I’m 27 years old and a proud Fightin’ Texas Aggie and a civil engineer. I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Sydrome when I was 2 years old and actively treated with prednisone, cellcept, and cytoxan for 17 years until I was 19 years old. Nick-named “Miss Perky” by family, friends, and my nephrologist team at UCLA, I try to still embody this optimistic mindset.


As an adult, I’m passionate about fitness and creating an athletic lifestyle. On any given day, you can catch me on my Peloton, completing a HIIT workout, or hiking a new mountain peak. I’m also deeply passionate about world affairs and will be visiting my 7th continent in January 2021! Growing up, Nephrotic Syndrome was part of my daily life and I know the struggles and sacrifices that many patients experience. I look forward to connecting with you and creating strength through community

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Seattle, WA

Hi, I'm Natalie! I grew up in Los Angeles, CA, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 (Go Blue!), and received my Masters of Social Work from USC in 2018. Along with my partner, Jason, our dog, Ash, and our cat, Ellie, I currently live in Seattle, where I’m working towards becoming a licensed therapist. Most of the time you can find me kayaking on Lake Union or in the kitchen learning new recipes.


At 2 years old I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. Like so many other children with the same diagnosis, my childhood was a juggling act of hospital stays, medication, side-effects, birthday parties, sleepovers, and class field trips. It was rare that I truly felt like myself. But thanks to my amazing support system I always had inspiration to stay positive! For the last 20 years, however, I have really missed making a connection with others living with Nephrotic Syndrome. This was especially true two and a half years ago, on my 25th birthday, when I relapsed for the first time in four years. A community is a powerful thing and I believe that through this one, we can all learn new ways to live life to the fullest while embracing the everyday challenges. Thank you all for sharing your stories!

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United Kingdom

Hi, I'm Jasmine! I have minimal change disease and was diagnosed in May 2016. I am a professional actor and since gaining my BA Hons in professional dance and musical theatre I have gone onto work in some amazing theatre shows such as “SIX”, “Mamma Mia” and “Hamilton”. I am passionate about the performing arts and how one can learn to create a healthy work-life balance. I understand how tough the journey with NS can be and hope that others going through similar can see through my story that despite the hardships, you can gain peace one day.

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Haverton, PA

i, I'm Natalie! I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome in 2013 at the age of 13. After undergoing prednisone therapy and a biopsy, the treatment that helped me reach remission was tacrolimus, which I took for five years. I have been in remission since 2017 and am extremely grateful for my family and the doctors who have been there for me every step of the way in my Nephrotic Syndrome journey.

At 24 years old I'm a graphic designer and a graduate from Harcum College. My hobbies include photography, watching the Philadelphia sports teams, and listening to classic rock music. I'm so happy to be a part of the NSF Peer Team!

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Hi, I'm Rhea! I am from a small, one-stoplight farm town in Indiana where I live with my husband and three dogs. I was diagnosed with membranous glomerulonephritis in 2020 and remained a true warrior as I endured lengthy hospital visits and health complications that culminated in my diagnosis. Despite this difficult journey, I embody a positive mindset and is try to be a light and inspiration to all. I also consider myself a self-starter—I run a tree service business with my partner and am an accomplished powerlifter. At age 22, I have achieved a partial remission through steriods, rituxan and intentional lifestyle.


NSF looks forward to all the amazing energy Rhea will bring to our Peer Team!



Bay Area, California

Currently a sophomore at De La Salle High School. Isaiah hopes to major in either pre-law or political science in College. He is volunteering for NSF so he can support other people who are experiencing the physical and mental challenges of having Nephrotic Syndrome.


Isaiah's favorite hobbies are running, juggling a soccer ball, and watching any type of sports. During running, he feels a greater connection to nature and feels at ease.

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Hi this is DJ, I was diagnosed in April of 2022 with FSGS. I have been through many different medications to try and give myself remission. This includes Tacrolimus, MMF, cyclosporine, rituximab, and Prednisone. I enjoy Choir and Drama. I am in my senior year and work with several different doctors, including my nephrologist, to help me live. I am in the process of preparing for Dialysis and transplant. I look forward to working with everyone.

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Tenafly, NJ

My name is Noah Rubach from Tenafly, New Jersey. I am currently in my senior year at Tenafly High School, and I plan to attend college to study business. In my free time, I like playing golf and watching sports.

In kindergarten, I was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome and have been dealing with it since. I’ve found success with careful dieting and prednisone. Now, I am in remission and am working to support others who are dealing with what I had to go through.

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Hi, I'm Valarie! I was diagnosed with C3G chronic kidney disease at age 16. I graduated from high school this past May, and I'm going to further my education studying nutrition at the University of West Florida! I attended Camp NSF for the first time this year, and it was so exciting to hear everyone's stories and connect! In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, running 5Ks, and spending time with my family. 

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Pittsburgh, PA

Hey there, my name is Jake! I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome when I was 2 years old. Thankfully, after some back-and-forth I was able to enter remission at 17 (and 19) through a medication my doctor has nicknamed "obi." Other medications I have used over the years that others may find familiar were rituximab, cellcept and losartan. Right now I only take tacrolimus--although I've known it as "prograf."It has now been a few years and I'm doing well. Currently, I'm majoring in Urban Planning at the University of Pittsburgh in my Junior year. I hope to go into a field that is sustainability related. I enjoy drawing, bowling, playing around on iMovie, and learning about different cars--you should see my giant drawing of the world! I'm very happy that I am a part of the Peer Team as I am able to meet people who have dealt with similar challenges as I have. I look forward to meeting everyone!

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Lancaster, PA

Hi, I’m Sydney! I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome and Minimal Change Disease in 2010, when I was 4 years old. I am currently 17 and have been in remission for a little less than a year. I have tried almost everything there is, I started with prednisone, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate. Those all worked until 2019 when I had to start rituxan treatments. Although many steroids and treatments have worked for short term remissions, I have not yet found a treatment that has kept me in remission for longer than 2 years. After 13 years I am still constantly looking for new treatments and waiting for new research to come out.I will be graduating in a little over a year and can’t wait to receive a degree for Occupational Therapy. I love working with kids and hope to end up using my degree to work in some sort of center for pediatric development. My time in hospitals and doctors offices has really pushed me to work with kids that have struggled with help and being able to get the kids to a point where they can live on their own eventually is my main goal. I feel that becoming a part of the Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation has led me to a group of people who are there to advocate for kids like me and being a part of that means a lot to me.

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Honolulu, HI

Hello, my name is Mia! I was born and raised on the island of Oahu and am currently attending University of Hawaii at Mānoa, studying psychology with an interest in human development. After I complete my education pathway, I hope to support other people whether it will be shown through individual counseling or educating. Some things I enjoy are reading/writing, watching animated tv shows, nature, going to museums and sewing clothes.At the age of 19 during my spring 2023 semester, I was sent home from the ER multiple times, then finally got admitted into the hospital for 12 days. I left with the diagnoses of minimal change disease and nephrotic syndrome through kidney biopsy. I sustained acute kidney failure then liver damage due to the intensity of my IV medications/fluids, overcoming these external stressors as someone who is neurodivergent.I also currently have steroid-induced cataracts in both my eyes and a dysautonomic disorder being investigated.As of present, I am in remission and couldn’t be more thankful to be able to wake up to brand new days and fresh new starts. I cherish each and every connection I make and love to listen to the array of stories people have in their lives. I also hope for others to feel less alone in their journeys of nephrotic syndrome and am grateful to be here!


Jon Rankin is an Olympic level runner, one of the world’s fastest mile runners, inspirational speaker, incredible human, AND FSGS Warrior. We are delighted to share with you Jon's special message to our NSF Community.

Jon also runs the apparel company,

Go Be More,

designed to inspire us to chase our dreams while fighting to overcome the challenges life gives us.

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