Benefit concert, raffle for Mary Renna set for Sunday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A benefit concert will be held Sunday in Concord for Mary Renna, a former Rowan County resident who is a cancer survivor now battling Stage 4 kidney disease.
Renna will turn 43 next week, She has battled health issues her entire life and has been featured a couple times previously in the Salisbury Post.
At 4, she was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia. When she was 9, Renna developed acute lymphatic leukemia. Over the years, she has received a bone marrow transplant and total hip and shoulder replacements. Her bones had deteriorated from vascular neucrosis, which was caused by the high doses of Prednisone she had during some chemotherapy.
A bout with meningitis left her severely hard of hearing. She relies on a cochlear implant for what hearing she does have.
With her kidney disease, Renna has been traveling back and forth from her present home in Garner to her doctors at Carolinas Medical Center NorthEast Medical Center in Concord.
Lori Karriker, who has been friends with Renna since childhood, has organized Sunday’s concert and is raising money on her friend’s behalf. Karriker said Renna makes her frequent trips to Concord for treatment in a worn-out 1991 Honda.
“She’s never had anything nice,” Karriker said. “She needs a dependable car.”
Karriker said Renna’s disability check only goes so far.
Karriker set up a Go Fund Me site to accept online contributions, which are now more than $1,800. You can access that site at
Sunday’s benefit concert will start at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Amici’s Pizza Sports Bar & Grill, 929A Concord Parkway, Concord.
The band Diesel will be performing, and there will be a special performance by Darrell Harwood and HFO Acoustic. There is no cover charge. The donations accepted will go toward assistance for Renna, whose birthday will be two days later.
Renna will be on hand Sunday, selling some of her homemade jewelry.
“She feels real isolated,” Karriker says. “I’m trying to get her out.”
Raffle tickets also are being sold at Village Furniture, 146 West Ave., Kannapolis, all week up to the benefit. The prize, drawn the night of the benefit, is a new Maquis Collection mattress from Village Furniture.
Raffle tickets also will be drawn Sunday night for a standard house cleaning, up to a $100 value, from Complete Cleaning of Salisbury — Karriker’s business. Winners of that prize will have up to six months to use it.
In addition, Stacie Walters is offering a Pampered Chef fundraiser, in which partial proceeds from a Pampered Chef party will be donated to Renna. For more information, contact Walters at

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.