Reston, VA â€“ More than 500 people whose lives have been touched by kidney disease and organ donation gathered at Reston Town Center on April 3 for the Inaugural Northern Virginia Kidney Walk benefiting the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area. With online fundraising available for another month, the Walk has already far surpassed its goal of $65,000 and is currently at $94,000.
The Washington, DC area leads the nation in the prevalence of kidney disease with more than 700,000 people affected, nearly 6,000 patients on dialysis, and more than 1,500 waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. The Kidney Walk is a 5K pledge-based event designed to raise awareness and funds to support the Foundation's local programs in research, early detection screenings, patient services, public and physician education, and organ donation awareness.
Washington Redskins safety Reed Doughty, the father of a young kidney patient, served as Honorary Chairman of the event. Doughty's wife donated a kidney to their son when he was just 18 months old. According to Doughty, "My son's kidney failure was not preventable, but for so many people it is. That's why I'm on a mission to educate people about risk factors. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease, you should be screened."
The National Kidney Foundation offers free screenings to those at risk through its Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP). Upcoming screenings are on May 9 in Washington, DC and April 17 in Vienna, VA.
Doug Kammerer, Chief Meteorologist for NBC4, and Al Galdi, from ESPN980's "Sports Saturday with Al Galdi" served as masters of ceremony for the Kidney Walk. Sponsors included Hilton Worldwide, CGI, Small Change Consignments, ESPN980, SportsTalk 570, The Connection Newspapers, and The Redskins Charity Challenge.
The National Kidney Foundation will host two more Kidney Walks in 2011: May 1 in Prince George's County and October 15 in Georgetown. To learn more about the Kidney Walk, kidney disease, and organ donation, visit www.kidneywdc.org or call (202) 244-7900.
(as of April 6)
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