DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) WTVY/WRGX recently told you that kidneys are the most needed organ in Alabama. The Alabama Kidney Foundation assists patients throughout the entire state but they are raising awareness here in the Wiregrass. They are hosting a “Wiregrass Kidney Walk and 5K.”
This is the fifth walk and second run in the Wiregrass hosted by the Alabama Kidney Foundation. For four hours this weekend, the nonprofit will be raising money though their annual event for those suffering with kidney disease.
More than 400,000 Alabamians are currently live with chronic kidney disease,” explained Lisa Baity, the Community Coordinator for the Alabama Kidney Foundation. “Alabama is ranked 5th in the nation for kidney disease.”
The leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. There are also five stages to the disease but symptoms are usually not clear until stage 3, when a kidney is functioning between 30 to 60%.
“As the disease progresses during the end of things, you start noticing things,”said SAMC Kidney Doctor Owale Osunsanya. “You start swelling up more because the kidney is not getting rid of excess fluid.”
According to Alabama Organ Center an estimated 3,000 Alabamians need a kidney. There is no cure for kidney disease and the only permanent solution is a kidney transplant.
“Once you lost your kidneys you can't fix them, this is something that happens over 10 to 20 years and the damage is done, cannot be reversed,” added Osunsanya. “What we do is get you on dialysis, get you healthy, and we look for a kidney transplant for you.”
To raise money for Alabama Kidney patients’ medication, utilities, and transportation, the Alabama Kidney Foundation is hosting a Wiregrass Kidney Walk and 5K run at Dothan’s Westgate Park Saturday morning; but there’s more than just the walk and run.
"Live entertainment, door prizes, food, we have a great children’s activities area,” mentioned Baity. “There will be a lot of vendors there to help with the education piece.”
Many organizations will be present including the Southeast Alabama Medical Center, (SAMC).
"Just to get to education at their about their patients,” said Sabrina Aplin, SAMC Clinical Educator. “When we go we are supporting these types of patients with this diagnosis and we just go out and have a good time."
The event is Saturday, April 22nd at Westgate Park’s Kiwanis Pavilio. The run kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will start at 9 a.m.
You can either register online or at the event Saturday morning. If you are register at the evnt, be sure to show up no later than 8 a.m. There's a $25 minimum donation for the run and $30 min donation for the walk and a t-shirt.
To register for the run go to wiregrasskidney5krun.org. If you would just like to make a donation visit, wiregrasskidneywalk.org