ANDREA COX ~PRESIDENT
32 Years~ Retired Teacher
I attended Ashley Elementary, Washington Drive Jr. High and Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, NC. After graduating from Terry Sanford I was employed at Purolator Inc. The plant was too hot, pay was fair, and there wasn't any opportunities for advancement. I applied and got accepted to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Transition from the south to the north was exciting but challenging. I missed my family, church, friends and southern food. I had to grow up quickly and put into action all the things my mother prepared me for. I knew God had a definite plan for me and I never gave up on my dream to achieve better. I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and was certified in K-3 and Language Arts 4-9.
Fayetteville was my home and I was thrilled to return and work in the Cumberland County School System for 18 years as a 5th grade teacher and 14 years as a 2nd grade teacher. I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in 2004 and had to start Hemodialysis for three years. I persevered through having an aortic valve surgery, pneumonia, and noticeable changes as I struggled with dialysis treatment three days a week up to four hours per treatment. I retired after 27 years of teaching.
As the mother to one daughter, Rahmeka, two sons, David and Terrence, my oldest son David was my kidney donor. Through God's grace and mercy my life was restored. My surgery was successful and after recovering I came out of retirement and resumed teaching five more years, God blessed me to retire after a teaching career of 32 years.
My dialysis and transplant journeys have inspired me to become an advocate for dialysis, transplant and living donor recipients. I have partnered with my daughter, Rahmeka to motivate, advocate, empower, and support others.
I suffered a stroke and my car was totaled by another motorist last year. I also had my fistula removed.
I am fully committed to plant the seed of Hope, Optimism and Love as we strive to "Transplant Kidneys and Transform Lives.
Regional Research Coordinator ~DaVita
New York, NY
Co-Founder of -It Only Takes 1 One: Kidney Health~ Donor Education
Former Miss New York~2018
Rahmeka is a native of Fayetteville, NC. She attended Honeycutt Elementary, John Griffin Middle and Seventy~First High School where she received her diploma. Rhameka was accepted to East Carolina University in Greenville, NC majoring in Biology and Hispanic Studies. She managed to find the time to prepare for Miss NC, work part time and start her non-profit, It Only Takes 1 One: Kidney Health ~Donor Education .
After taking a course about infectious disease at East Carolina University, and completing a Spanish/Public Health internship with Dr. Essie Torres, Rahmeka wanted to obtain a Master's Degree. She became inspired to learn more about the epidemiology of Chronic Kidney Disease ( C K D).
She relocated to New York and continued her studies in the New York University's Global Public Health program with a concentration in Epidemiology. She also competed for the title of Miss New York 2018. She was First Runner Up but accepted the role of Miss New York since the winner of Miss New York won Miss America 2018. The Miss NY title gave Rahmeka more access, visibility, and opportunities to more
effectively promote her platform. It Only Takes 1 One. More importantly, she learned the true meaning of perseverance during difficult times.
Rahmeka obtained a Master's Degree in Public Health at New York University with the focus of her thesis on the epidemiology of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). She is on mission to spread awareness about Kidney disease because it is a chronic epidemic that affects 26 million Americans today.