E-Kidney | April 2012

Top 5Go the Distance with a Few Small Steps

Twelve-year-old Micheal Minyard of Hiram, Georgia, has a passion for drawing and video games. He loves science club, robotics, archery and he is an avid swimmer. It’s hard to believe that doctors weren’t sure he’d live to see his first birthday or ever take his first steps.

Little Micheal’s health problems became apparent during his mother’s 18 week ultrasound. At 27 weeks, Micheal was delivered by an emergency c-section, and he was on a ventilator to help him breathe. He later underwent heart valve surgery as an infant. A few years later, his family learned that his kidneys were failing and he’d need dialysis or a transplant to survive. He currently takes 10 medications daily as well as shots to help him grow, since the kidney disease has stunted his normal growth.

His mom, Misty, says she has never heard him say “I can’t!” He doesn’t look at his kidney disease as a disability, but rather an opportunity to show others that there is more than one way to live life to the fullest and that “we can all rise to life’s challenges and do anything we set our minds to.”

This spring, Micheal is rallying his entire family together to support an organization that has helped him for many years—the National Kidney Foundation. The Minyards will be stepping out for the 2012 Atlanta Kidney Walk and they urge others around the country to register for a Kidney Walk in their community.

“We walk each year as a family to demonstrate that kidney disease can affect anyone, young or old, but if we stand together and spread the word about the importance of early detection and organ donation, we can truly make a difference in the health and lives of so many,” says Misty Minyard. “Supporting the National Kidney Foundation through the Kidney Walk means making a lifesaving contribution to the future of our family and millions of others with chronic kidney disease.”

This Spring, join tens of thousands of National Kidney Foundation supporters who’ll be stepping out to save lives in more than 100 Kidney Walks in cities across the country. A short stroll could end up going the extra mile towards the detection and prevention of a disease that affects more than 26 million Americans.

Small steps add up. The first step: take a lifesaving stride and participate in a Kidney Walk near you to help raise awareness and funds to support those who already have chronic kidney disease and the millions more at risk. Find an upcoming Walk near you.