HP Makes It Matter

At HP, they say if you’re going to do something, Make It Matter.

HP_2103It was a message HP employees took to heart last month, when over 200 staff members registered for the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Kidney Walks.

With HP CEO Meg Whitman and HP Board Member Ann Livermore leading the charge as the Bay Area Corporate Walk Chairs, HP teams have collectively raised over $73,000 in support of the National Kidney Foundation – making them the top corporate team in the nation.

“Of course this cause is personal for me, but when we look more broadly across HP we have many employees who have kidney disease or have friends or family members who have been impacted by this disease,” said Livermore, a former HP Executive Vice President who received a kidney transplant in 2005. “That experience opened my eyes to how many people are impacted by kidney disease in this country… The cost of kidney disease is monumental, but most significantly is the toll it takes on American lives. I was fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant. That is not the case for many people on the waiting list.”

In California alone, more than 50,000 people receive dialysis treatment for kidney failure and 17,500 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.

Independent of their team’s Kidney Walk efforts, HP also contributed $10,000 as a Platinum Sponsor for both the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Kidney Walks.

“At HP we say, if you are going to do something, Make it Matter,” said Whitman. “With 73 million Americans at risk for developing kidney disease, we know that supporting the National Kidney Foundation’s awareness, prevention and treatment programs can indeed make it matter.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH HP’s WALK VIDEO

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Atlanta Radio Host Taking Kidney Disease Message to the Streets

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Radio is life for Gary Young, an on-air personality with Kiss 104.1.

Young has been broadcasting and programming at radio stations from Philadelphia to Milwaukee to Jacksonville for the past 35 years, but he almost lost his livelihood, and his life, as a result of kidney disease.

“At the time, I was having really bad headaches and decided to walk into a clinic. They saw the top number of my blood pressure and didn’t even bother with the bottom number,” Young said. “They were asking how I was even able to walk in there.”

When doctors were finally able to control his blood pressure, it was too late. Young was told that he would eventually need a kidney transplant due to kidney damage and the onset of chronic kidney disease.

“That was shocking,” he said. “It was something I never thought would happen to me and I didn’t even know much about it even though I lost my mother to renal failure.”

A year after his diagnosis, Young was told that he needed to go one dialysis — his kidneys had failed. Luckily, his daughter, Kelly, was a willing and compatible donor. As if to underline the special connection, the transplant happened on Father’s Day weekend, 2009.

“I felt so blessed,” he said. “She was so excited to do it. She just kept saying how much she wanted to do it, and how much she loved her dad. It was the best gift a father could receive.”

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Now Young is trying to spread the word about kidney disease and its risk factors. As part of that effort he is joining with the National Kidney Foundation to for the Atlanta Kidney Walk. Young will be participating along with friends, family and co-workers from Cox Media Group.

“Going through this and having a transplant, I really wanted to find a way to give back,” he said. “This is this first way I can do that.”