Kidney Walk

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

"I don't think people out in the community have an understanding of how many people are affected by the disease."

Sarah Fay-Simons, of East Lansing, is one of the organizers for this year's Kidney Walk. She's been helping for the past couple of years.

"Every year I'll talk to someone who didn't know anything about kidney disease. Or they'll say, 'You know I just met someone on dialysis, tell me about that and transplants.' And every year we're reaching more and more people."

According to Fay-Simons, the walk is a great tool to help promote awareness about a disease affecting so many. Currently 20 million Americans are battling the illness, and in Michigan the number is close to 800,000.

Dan Kim, of Corunna, found out his kidneys were failing ten years ago. He was only 27 years old. Although he wasn't obese or battling diabetes, he did have hypertension another leading cause.

"It was all of a sudden. I was tired all of the time and didn't feel good for a while. Then they told me it was my kidneys. You never know. I lived a pretty healthy life. I was active."

So now every year he and his family join others in the Kidney Walk. And Fay-Simons says it's important to spread the message.

"It really doesn't show a lot discrimination. We have people as young as their early 20s as old as 90. They're Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic. It affects all different people."

If you'd like to participate in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk, it takes place Sunday, April 30. Registration begins at noon and the walk starts at 1 p.m. It's taking place at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing.

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