Local Current Blog

Gabriel Douglas, Erik Berry, Fever Dream to play benefit for ailing Duluth woman

Gabriel Douglas at The Current's studios. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Gabriel Douglas (the 4onthefloor), Erik Berry (Trampled By Turtles), and Fever Dream will play an upcoming benefit show for a Duluth woman who’s undergoing treatment for a kidney disease. The benefit and silent auction for Duluth native Erica Rodriguez is being held at the Red Herring Lounge this Sunday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m.

Rodriguez was diagnosed with a kidney disorder when she was only 13 years and old, and was told being a parent would not be part of her future. “Well, 20 years later and three children later, she has beaten those odds,” says Sally Palmer, Rodriguez’s childhood best friend.

Recently, though, Rodriguez’s kidneys have dropped to about a 13% “working status,” and she is now in stage five kidney failure. She is currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic, but the average wait time for a kidney is about three to five years.

“We just want to try and help out all that we can for the sake of our dear friend Erica,” says Palmer. “The little expenses of gas and doctor visits really add up in the long run. Our goal is to try and raise money and awareness for being organ donors.

“Some people might think she’s doing pretty well because she’s keeping it together,” continues Palmer. “She is involved in so much with her children at school and donates so much of her time to others, even with the struggles she is facing. Her disease doesn’t make her physically impaired but she does struggle day to day on occasion. Of course there are bad days, but she has had a very positive outlook on the whole situation.”

The all-ages show will cost $10 per person, and walking tacos donated by Carmody’s Pub will be on sale for $5 each. All proceeds and donations will go directly to the Rodriguez family to help pay for expenses related to the ongoing medical treatments. A YouCaring page has also been created, for anyone who would like to donate but will not be able to attend the event.

“So many people are stepping up and helping with the event,” says Palmer. “It’s been really good to see a community rise up like this one has done.”

Kelsey Sorenson is a student at the College of St. Scholastica.

  • Sally Palmer

    Thank you so much for posting about Erica! If you could change one thing, though, that would be great. Erica was actually diagnosed with Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis when she was thirteen, which is a rare kidney disease. She recently found out that an unknown autoimmune disorder is causing deposits on her kidneys, causing her kidneys to fail. She also has celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder, but it’s not causing the kidney failure. It’s incredibly complex, so I totally understand the confusion. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the note, Sally; we’ve corrected the article text.

      • Sally Palmer

        Can you also change that she’s undergoing treatment for a kidney disease instead of autoimmune? Thanks again!