April 27, 2010

Contact: Paul McGinley
(202) 244-7900 ext. 15

Hundreds Gather at the National Kidney Foundation's 2nd Annual Prince George's County Kidney Walk

Event Will Raise $50,000 to Fight Kidney Disease Locally

Hyattsville, MD -- Hundreds of people whose lives have been affected by kidney disease gathered at The Mall at Prince Georges for the 2nd Annual Ronald D. Paul Companies Prince George's County Kidney Walk hosted by the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area. The Kidney Walk is a 5K pledge-based event designed to raise awareness and funds to support the Foundation's local programs and services.

The DC metropolitan area leads the nation in the prevalence of kidney disease with more than 700,000 people affected, nearly 6,000 patients on dialysis, and 1,600 individuals waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. Of the 6,000 local dialysis patients, one-third are residents of Prince George's County. The need for public awareness is great in Prince George's County as it is one of the top five counties in Maryland with the highest prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.

When all the pledges and sponsorship dollars are tallied, the Walk is expected to raise more than $50,000 to fight kidney disease locally. According to NKF/NCA Division President & Government Relations Director Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE, "In addition to raising funds, the Walk has been very effective in educating people about kidney disease and its leading causes, diabetes and hypertension. We value our partnership with The Mall at Prince Georges and its commitment to the community."

Radio personality Olivia Fox from Majic 102.3 FM served as emcee. Fox, who is currently undergoing dialysis while waiting for a kidney transplant, introduced speakers and Honorary Chair Washington Redskins player Reed Doughty who has a personal connections to kidney disease.

Doughty's son was born with kidney failure, endured 10 months of dialysis, and two years ago, at the age of 18 months, received a transplant with a kidney donated by his mother. According to Doughty, "My son's kidney failure was not preventable, but for many Washington area residents it is. That's why I'm on a mission to educate people about risk factors and early detection of kidney disease."

Among the speakers was the Mayor of the City of Hyattsville, Bill Gardiner, who urged, "We cannot forget those who are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. We need more people to become living donors. You have the power to change someone's world with a gift of life. I know this because I am a living donor." Gardiner donated a kidney to his cousin in 2008.

Gardiner read a note from Congresswoman Donna Edwards that said, "I am sorry I am unable to attend the Kidney Walk with all of you this year, but I am honored to serve as Honorary Chair for this important and exciting event. As a daughter of a father who suffered from kidney disease, I know firsthand the importance of what you all are doing today."

When walkers returned from the 5K trek, they were treated to door prizes awarded by event chairs Dr. Jeff Perlmutter and Quandra Lee, and testimonials given by living donors Gloria Brooks and Judy Payne, and transplant recipients Etienne Cromer, Hilda Quigley, and Bob Ellis.

The Kidney Walk's title sponsor was the Ronald D. Paul Companies Inc, whose president Ron Paul has been involved with the National Kidney Foundation for more than two decades. In 1990 he received a life-saving kidney transplant from his brother Steve Paul and in January 2009 he received another transplant with a kidney donated by his Chief Financial Officer, Kathy McCallum.

Walkers will continue fundraising through May 24. Many created personal fundraising pages through the National Kidney Foundation's website. Visit or call (202) 244-7900.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.