October 27, New York, NY – National Kidney Foundation (NKF), is excited to announce that award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the New York City Kidney Walk LaceUp-- a new way to walk in support of kidney disease patients from the comfort and safety of your home or local park. Ms. O’Brien’s work has been recognized with three Emmy awards, twice with the George Foster Peabody Award, three times with the Gracie Award, which honors women in media, twice with Cine Awards for her work in documentary films and also with an Alfred I. DuPont Award.
The New York City Kidney Walk will commence with a live opening ceremony on November 8th at 10:30AM ET. To help keep kidney patients, and those who care for them, safe during the pandemic, this year’s Kidney Walk, has transitioned to a virtual format.
As COVID-19 continues to spread research shows that the virus doesn’t just attack a patient’s lungs, it damages the kidneys. A whole group of people with no previous history of kidney disease now face an acute kidney injury, which brings with it an increased risk for developing chronic kidney disease. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are becoming kidney patients—NKF’s mission just expanded.
“I am honored to play a part in the NYC Kidney Walk LaceUp to raise awareness and crucial funds to help those suffering from kidney disease,” said Ms. O’Brien. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how vital it is to protect patients with debilitating conditions like kidney disease, especially those from minority communities. Though this year’s event will be held virtually, I’m excited to lend my voice and hit the virtual pavement to educate New Yorkers about the vital role kidneys play in their everyday health.”
The virtual NYC Kidney Walk LaceUp represents an opportunity for participants to come together in a time of isolation and demonstrate their shared commitment to the lives of kidney patients and their loved ones. In order to reach our fundraising goal of $500,000 participants are encouraged to donate funds ahead of the event and on November 8th to hit the pavement in their own special way, taking a personal walk around the neighborhood, local park or location of their choosing. Approximately, 84 cents of every dollar donated will be used to benefit the National Kidney Foundation’s signature programs and new COVID-19 specific resources.
“It is an honor and privilege to have Soledad O’Brien serve as Master of Ceremonies for this year’s virtual NYC Kidney Walk. Her work is unparalleled in raising awareness for a number of social causes and we are so grateful to have her lead our efforts this year to educate the New York City Community about the importance of kidney health,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “Whether our participants and donors will be walking with us from their home, neighborhood or local park, they are all playing a crucial role in helping to save lives. Funds raised from this critical opportunity, though not in-person, will allow NKF to protect patients with kidney disease from the dangers of COVID-19.
The New York City Kidney Walk will kick off on Sunday, November 8, with the opening ceremony available to stream beginning at 10:30AM ET on the NYC Walk Website. In addition to emcee Soledad O’Brien, the virtual event will also feature a special message from baseball legend Ed Kranepool, a member of the 1969 New York Mets World Championship team and a kidney transplant recipient. The walk is supported by National Multimarket Sponsors LogistiCare, Transplant Genomics, Aurinia, Moonstone Nutrition, and locally sponsored by Atlantic Tomorrow's Office, Thomson Reuters, and Fox.
“We need New York City’s help now more than ever to give patients the information they need to stay healthy; to inform clinicians about the latest research on COVID-19; and advocate for patients who need safe dialysis and transplants,” added Longino.
The Kidney Walk is the nation's largest fundraiser to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 90 communities, more than 55,000 walkers join NKF to raise more than $9 million to help kidney patients and their families each year. More than 81 cents of every dollar donated directly supports NKF programs and services.
Those interested in participating in the NYC Kidney Walk LaceUp on November 8th can register at https://kidney.rallybound.org/newyorkcity.
For those interested in making a donation to support the NKF and its efforts, direct donations can be made at https://kidney.rallybound.org/newyorkcity/Donate.
About Soledad O’Brien
An award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist, Ms. O’Brien is the founder of Soledad O’Brien Productions, a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on a range of social issues. She also anchors and produces the Hearst TV political magazine program "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" and is a correspondent for HBO Real Sports. Ms. O’Brien’s work has been recognized with three Emmy awards, twice with the George Foster Peabody Award, three times with the Gracie Award, which honors women in media, twice with Cine Awards for her work in documentary films and also with an Alfred I. DuPont Award. With over 1.3 million Twitter followers, Ms. O’Brien is one of the most respected thought leaders in media today and has decades of personal and professional experience amplifying and bringing to the forefront stories of the disenfranchised.
Kidney Disease and COVID-19
People with kidney disease and transplant recipients are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19. Learn how to protect yourself and reduce your risk of exposure to the virus. Visit kidney.org/coronavirus.
About Kidney Disease
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.