Jennifer Harman has pledged to contribute 1% of her poker earnings to The NephCure Foundation, a charitable organization whose goal is to support research to fight two terrible kidney diseases, Nephrotic Syndrome and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The pledge is part of the “All-In for a Cure” program started by Poker Players International (PPI), a full service poker agency. Other poker players who have pledged a portion of their earnings include Jason Young, who will be giving 1% like Harman, and Frank Vizza, who is donating 5%.
Harman is no stranger to kidney disease, having had two kidney transplants. After her second procedure in 2004, she founded the non-profit organization Creating Organ Donation Awareness. In a press release distributed by The NephCure Foundation, the Full Tilt Poker pro said, “Kidney disease is extremely difficult. It is invisible and it affects kids and adults alike. NephCure is trying to find an answer and I’m here to help by joining ‘All-in for a Cure.'”
As Harman said, kidney disease can affect anyone, even the most physically fit. Both Alonzo Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and Sean Elliott, a two-time All-Star selection, suffered from FSGS. Both had kidney transplants. Ed Hearn, a former Major League Baseball player, has had to go through three transplants and still has FSGS, which damages the kidneys’ filtering system.
NephCure has committed $6 million towards research of both Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS, but there is still no cure for either disease. According to NephCure’s website, 84% of donations are put towards research, education, and advocacy, while 10% are used for further fundraising. The remainder pays for management and general expenses.
The cause is also personally important for PPI’s Marketing and Player Development Leader Eric Siegel, as his son has Nephrotic Syndrome. “It is great to have someone with the pedigree and reputation of Jennifer joining PPI’s pledge program,” he said. “Having her involved in this program is a tremendous benefit to everyone and I expect it to lead to more players coming on board. She understands the responsibility to give back. By doing so hopefully we can find a cure for this horrible disease that affects thousands of people.”
Siegel is a poker player and has pledged 1% of his earnings to All-In for a Cure. His wife, Jennifer Geisser Siegel, serves on the NephCure Board of Directors.
Harman has a history of being one of the most philanthropic poker players around. She has hosted the Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament three years running, raising over $450,000 for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and $111,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.
On the felt, Jennifer Harman is one of the most respected poker players in the world. In her live tournament career, she has earned over $2.3 million and is the only female to own multiple World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets. Harman is widely regarded by her peers as one of the best poker players in the world, adept at any game, and a player to be feared in the highest stakes games in Las Vegas.