FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2011
Washington, DC – Nearly 1,000 people whose lives have been touched by kidney disease and organ donation gathered at the Georgetown Waterfront on October 15 for the 10th Annual Ronald D. Paul Companies Kidney Walk benefiting the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area. With donations coming in for another month, the Walk is on target to raise approximately $170,000 to fight kidney disease locally.
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 1 mile or 5K pledge-based event designed to raise awareness and funds to support the Foundation’s local programs and services in research, early detection screenings, patient services, public and physician education, and organ donation awareness.
Kidney Walk title sponsor and transplant recipient Ron Paul, President of the Ronald D. Paul Companies, marveled at the size of the crowd gathered outside Sequoia Restaurant. He founded the Walk in fall 2002, with about 60 participants, now there are over 800.
Addressing the crowd of enthusiastic supporters, John Devine, NKF/NCA Board Chair and Co-Chairman of GenSpring Family Offices, talked about his experience as a kidney transplant recipient, and his wife Margo who donated one of her kidneys when his failed. He also took the time to recognize participants who have donated a kidney or organ as well as those who are transplant recipients like himself.
Honorary Chair Will Thomas of FOX5 News walked in honor of his mother who is celebrating the 16th anniversary of her kidney transplant this year. He was joined by National Kidney Walk Chairman, Grizz Chapman who plays a supporting role as part of Tracy Morgan’s entourage on the Emmy award winning NBC hit comedy show “30 Rock.” Grizz suffered from chronic kidney disease for 14 years before receiving a kidney transplant.
After returning from the 5K walk, along Water Street and the C&O Canal, participants were rewarded with cupcakes donated by Georgetown Cupcake and a post-Walk program that featured door prizes including BIG 100.3 prize packs, NKF gift bags, and six tickets for the Potomac River Cruise. Event Chair Francine Friedman Grabowski of Akin Gump announced that of the 26 corporate teams, Soaring Eagles had raised over $13,000 and out of the family/friends teams, Tony’s Tigers raised over $7,000.
Walk sponsors included the Ronald D. Paul Companies, Vascular Access Centers, Akin Gump, Xerox, HealthQare Associates of Northern Virginia, Westfield Corporation, Clark Construction, American Access Center, Glazer Winston Honigman Ellick, Cassidy Turley, Dole, Whole Foods Georgetown Cupcake and Sequoia Restaurant. Media sponsors included NBC4, BIG 100.3, FAMILY Magazine, Viamedia, RCN, Beltway Networking and The Washington Informer.
The National Kidney Foundation will host a spring Kidney Walk: April 22 in Northern Virginia. To learn more about kidney disease or organ donation, visit www.kidneywdc.org or call (202) 244-7900.