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What does NoDa Brewing Company and Dr. Emily Chang have in common? They both love Kimchi, the dog.

Dr. Chang adopted Kimchi from a rescue organization, saving her before she was placed in a high kill shelter. She is Dr. Chang’s first pup and the two were a bonded pair almost instantly. Over the last nine years Kimchi has appeared on a fanny pack, t-shirts, a tattoo, chemo caps, wall decals and many office decorations.

“She’s just like her name, she’s spicy and definitely has a personality,” Emily Chang, MD, associate professor in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, said. “She does this thing where she just wags her tail all the time. She’s so happy and she makes you feel like you are the best thing.”

Dr. Chang was diagnosed with breast cancer in November. Throughout treatment Kimchi has been like her nurse companion, keeping her spirits high.

“I had to be in the hospital in Hillsborough for five nights. Hillsborough is so great because they have the outdoor seating area, and my friends were so awesome. They brought her every evening,” Dr. Chang said.

A friend, who knew the dynamic duo’s story, reached out about a new local contest being held by NoDa Brewing Company. The dog’s photo who raises the most money becomes the official label of the 2023 Rescue Brew in the Triangle. Of course, Kimchi was entered.

Word quickly spread across the nephrology community. Many people from the UNC Kidney Center and the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension showed their support, making it a nail-biting finish.

“In the last few minutes, it was really dramatic. Kimchi and another dog were going back and forth for the lead. I was so nervous,” Dr. Chang said.

Ultimately, Kimchi finished on top of the leaderboard earning her picture on the Rescue Brew label which coincidently is on a Carolina Blue can and a spot in the rescue calendar. The words, “Bringer of joy and #1 heart Melter” accompany Kimchi on the can.

The dog and cat competition in the Triangle raised over $48,000 which will directly support two local animal rescues, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary and Hope Animal Rescue.

Cheers to Kimchi and Dr. Chang.