About kidneywalk

National Walk Manager for the National Kidney Foundation

Alli’s Army is walking…are you?

Written by Alli, a 2014 National Kidney Walk Ambassador

Hi everyone! I hope your summer is going just as well as mine. As kidney walk season approaches, I want to remind you to sign up for your local kidney walk! As your National Ambassador, I will be participating and talking at the 2014 NYC Kidney Walk on November 9th.  If you would like to join my team visit http://www.KidneyWalk.org and search for ALLI’S ARMY.

Moreover, as summer is already half way over and we are approaching the hottest month of the year, don’t forget to drink tons of water and keep up with your diet! I have been feeling great and have kept up with my diet and exercise, so remember follow your doctor’s orders because they truly are life savors in the situation we are all in. Next time, I will be talking about back to school de-stressors (as I will finally be a SENIOR) that you can do to help your children with their chronic medical conditions.  If you would like to contact me please post here and have a great rest of your summer!

Meet Danny…

Written by Danny, a 2014 Kidney Walk National Ambassador. 

 IMG_1298I’m Daniel, twelve years old, born in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan and I have Chronic Kidney Disease.

Even before I was born, the doctors saw a potential problem with my right kidney during a routine ultrasound. My mom had to have a lot of ultrasounds so the doctors could keep an eye on things. Right after I was born, the doctors checked me out, did an ultrasound on me, and gave me the all clear. Everyone thought I was healthy and had two normal kidneys. That lasted for seven weeks.IMG_1330

It turns out that the tube extending from my right kidney to my bladder was bent – really bent. Tied up in knots kind of bent. As a result, my right kidney didn’t work at all and the damage had an effect on my left kidney as well. My left kidney is just too small to do all the work it is going to need to do to keep me healthy as I grow. I have to keep a habit of drinking more than the average amount of water per day, and I go to the University of Michigan Children’s Hospital for blood draws and clinic visits every few months. I also get an injection every evening of growth hormones so that I will grow like other kids. I know that I am going to need a new kidney one day but my parents are making sure that I get to have a normal childhood – I even went to sleep away camp for an entire month! The nurses took great care of me and, except for the contact sports I got to participate in all the activities.

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Shortly after the diagnosis, my mother learned of the National Kidney Foundation, and its local branch, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. I have taken part in the Detroit Kidney Walk since the age of three but only began fundraising outside of my immediate family three years ago – my parents thought it was importan t that I understand the value of money before asking others to donate. In the last few years my family, friends, and even strangers have helped me raise over $25,000 to help kids and adults like me everywhere.

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Stay tuned in for more blog posts written by Danny throughout the the year.P1000251


School Unites Around Transplant Teacher

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It wasn’t Physical Education that had children at Barrow Elementary walking around the track in circles. The miniature Kidney Walk was in honor of 2nd grade teacher Nicole O who received a kidney transplant in 2013.

“A lot of the kids wanted to do something to show they care,” said Barrow Elementary teacher Tracey H. “Everybody at school loves Nicole, and this is a good way for kids to learn about their kidneys and show their support.”

Nicole, who lives outside of Brazoria, TX underwent the kidney transplant operation in 2013 after her kidneys failed due to a genetic kidney disease. In order to get the kidney, her husband, Eric, participated in a three-way kidney swap with other individuals in California and Missouri.

“Everything fell into place perfectly,” said Nicole of the procedure. “I felt so good afterwards that I was ready to go to work the next day.”

Now that both Eric and Nicole have fully recovered, the transplant has given Nicole the opportunity to participate in research studies that could help other transplant patients. It has also revealed to her just how widespread kidney disease is in her community.

“Since this happened, I’ve talked to a lot of people and realized that kidney disease is more common than I ever thought,” Nicole said. “I have friends who have relatives going through dialysis, you just don’t hear about it every day.”

Nicole is taking her story of hope to the Kidney Walk to support others with kidney disease and fund kidney disease research. She is honored that her co-workers and students have also stepped up for the cause, raising over $3,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.

“The school, students and everyone have been amazing and so supportive,” she said. “It’s been such a remarkable experience.”

 

HP Tops Kidney Walk Fundraising in 2014!

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) employees have redefined what it means to make a difference by becoming the top corporate Kidney Walk team for the second consecutive year.

In May and June, over 200 HP staff and family members registered for the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Kidney Walks and together raised more than $52,000 to support the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. Their hard work fighting kidney disease in the Bay Area has set the bar for corporate walk teams across the nation.

HP (1)“The amount of support and enthusiasm that our HP team generated was beyond
my wildest imagination, and it reminded me why I am so proud to work for this company,” said Rebecca Gelenberg, organizer of HP’s 2014 walk efforts. “The employees here truly believe in making an impact in their communities and everyone was so willing to give their time and their money to this important cause.”

For the second year in a row, Team 3Par, a division within HP led by Dan Dias and Dolores Montano, led the pack in fundraising. 3Par successfully raised over $22,000.  Not only did they raise a huge amount of money but they showed up in force with 68 walkers. Independent of employee efforts, HP also contributed $10,000 as a Platinum Sponsor for the Silicon Valley Kidney Walk.

Last year, HP took up the kidney disease cause with gusto, surpassing the previous $35,000 corporate walk fundraising record, while HP CEO Meg Whitman and HP Board Member Ann Livermore were honored as the Bay Area Corporate Walk Chairs. Livermore has a personal connection to kidney disease — she received a kidney transplant in 2005 and has been an advocate for organ donation and kidney disease awareness.

“It’s great to see HP employees build on the momentum and really understand why this is such an important public health issue in our country,” said Livermore, a former HP Executive Vice President. “As a company, HP pledges to Make it Matter. It’s impressive to see HP employees live up to that motto by making a difference in the lives of kidney patients in our community.”

In California alone, more than 55,000 people receive dialysis treatment for kidney failure and 18,000 are on the waiting list for a life-saving kidney transplant. It is estimated that 1 in 9 Californians have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because symptoms usually appear late in the disease’s progression.

HP (3)“Many of us were shocked to learn how prevalent kidney disease is and how many people are impacted either personally or through friends and family,” said Rebecca. “We are proud to get the word out, and to represent the mission of the National Kidney Foundation. The work that they do is so important to our communities, and it is an honor to support them.”

Walking for Zayda

4_zaydaWhen eleven-year-old Zayda starting getting sick in 2011, her mother knew it wasn’t a normal illness.

“I’ve had three kids and I’ve seen a lot of symptoms, but this was different,” said Margarita, Zayda’s mother.

After insisting on numerous follow-up tests, Zayda was eventually diagnosed with ANCA Vasculitis, a condition where her antibodies attacked her kidneys. She had only 14% kidney function left. Doctors were telling Margarita that she should prepare for a transplant.

“We thought transplant was the only option,” Margarita said. “But thanks to organizations like the National Kidney Foundation and the research they support, we are here two years later and still going strong.”

Zayda’s kidney function improved after numerous therapies and medications, and although a transplant is still likely in the future, she is able to do cheerleading and play outside like other youngsters.

Zayda and her family are also able to spread the kidney disease message, whether at school or at the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk. This is the third year Zayda, her siblings, mother and friends are walking.

“We’re supporting everyone with kidney disease, and teaching people about kidney disease,” Zayda said.

This year, in advance of the Walk, Margarita set up a Facebook page, Going Green for Zayda, where over 150 people wore green to support Zayda in her battle against kidney disease. The gesture brought Zayda to the point of tears.

For her mother, the ordeal that Zayda has gone through, and the tough road ahead, is still a story of hope, one she hopes other parents will learn from.

“People need to really push for their kids and get their kids screened if they think something is wrong.” Margarita said. “Do it before it’s too late.”

Bendix Joins the National Kidney Foundation in a Life-Saving Partnership

r-BendixWhen corporations and nonprofits collide, the relationships are often short and opportunistic.

However, one local partnership has been bucking the trend. The National Kidney Foundation and Elyria-based Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems have been working together to promote kidney disease awareness for over five years.It’s a relationship that has made a life-saving difference for Bendix employees and local kidney patients. In fact, screenings and information provided by the National Kidney Foundation has led a number of Bendix employees to seek further treatment and medical advice due to having, or being at risk for, kidney disease.

“That’s the way this disease is, it sneaks up on people and those most impacted often don’t realize until it’s too late,” said Amy Solmos Wayne, Regional Director for the National Kidney Foundation. “Across the country, 1 in 3 people are at risk for kidney disease and more than 26 million people have it, while most don’t know it.”

Once Bendix saw the impact of NKF screening programs, it was a natural step that the company also saw the overall benefit of supporting the NKF mission to bring kidney disease awareness, prevention and treatment strategies to patients, professionals and those at risk in the local community.

“We hope this partnership will continue to promote the message of kidney health and the importance of the kidney score to more local organizations,” said Joe McAleese, president and CEO of Bendix. “NKF Serving Ohio has been a significant part of the health and wellness initiative at Bendix and has positively impacted the health of a number of our employees.”

The relationship that began in 2007 developed into a full-fledged corporate partnership that is now supported in large part by Bendix staff.

“As an organization we participate in a number of initiatives in the community,” said Barbara Gould,Director of Communications at Bendix. “Working with the National Kidney Foundation has been one of those commitments we’ve seen grow over the years, thanks in large part to the generosity and dedication of our workforce.”

Bendix employees geared up again this year to support the NKF at the Northeast Ohio Kidney Walk in Cleveland. Bendix’s employee walk team, known as the “Brigade in Blue”, are looking to break last year’s Kidney Walk fundraising record.

“We don’t want to throw down the gauntlet too much, but we are looking to be the top fundraising team for the fourth year in a row,” said Bendix team captain Julia Salvatora. “Last year we had more than 60 people come out without counting the children, and we’re growing bigger every year.”

“YOU HAVE KIDNEY DISEASE”

Written by: Alli, a 2014 National Kidney Walk Ambassador

Sorry everyone junior year has been hectic! I said I would talk about the modifications that you have to make to live your life to the fullest with kidney disease… so here it goes!

Being told “ YOU HAVE KIDNEY DISEASE” is the moment when your life changes forever. From there are on out you have to change your lease on life. I learned about all these big words like “glomerulsclerosis” and then came the medications. The most drastic change was having to take all of these drugs and not knowing what would happen or even why I had to take them. One thing that helped was knowing that I was in the hands of a very qualified nephrologist. A lot of people don’t even know where to start with how to modify their life so I suggest using kidney.org or anyone that you have connections to and of course, me!

Another modification that you will need to make is diet, some more modifications than others. I had to change sodium, potassium and dairy. I saw a nutritionist within the first month and it helped me greatly. The nutritionist I used was through my team of doctors that my nephrologist set up. WE ARE NOT ALONE. Your doctors will always be there for you. Also, you should use sodium girls YouTube account or use kidney.org for weekly ideas on recipes to create that are kidney friendly. However, even with all these modifications there are side effects especially depression and that is why I am here and the whole kidney community to make your day a little bit brighter with some words of wisdom.

There are 26 million of us and we all our family.  If you would like to speak to me personally please leave your email or a way for me to contact you and I would love to talk. Enjoy May and hope all the mother’s out there had a Happy Mother’s Day!