WASHINGTON, DC – Washington Redskins Safety Reed Doughty will join the National Kidney Foundation to raise awareness about kidney disease and organ donation by serving as the Honorary Chair of the Foundation’s Ronald D. Paul Kidney Walk on April 19 at the Mall at Prince George’s.
The Kidney Walk, a pledge-based fundraiser, is an opportunity for patients, family, friends and businesses to come together to support the 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the 80,000 waiting for a kidney transplant. In September 2008, the NKF Serving the National Capital Area hosted Walks in both Georgetown and Silver Spring.
“The Kidney Walk really helps to raise awareness about kidney disease in the local community. We chose to expand the Walk to Prince George’s County because of the high rate of kidney failure among its residents,” said Preston A. Englert Jr., CAE, Division President of the NKF Serving the National Capital Area.
In April 2008 there were 1,917 dialysis patients in Prince George’s County. Three zip codes – 20743, 20744, and 20748 – accounted for 25% of the dialysis patients in the county. This places Prince George’s County ahead of Washington, DC, which had 1,787 dialysis patients in April 2008. In the District, there is high concentration of kidney failure within specific zip codes as well, with 20019, 20020, and 20011 at the top of the list.
Diabetes and high blood pressure – the leading causes of kidney disease – are extremely high in Prince George’s County accounting for the majority of new kidney patients.
Reed Doughty’s connection to kidney disease began in 2006 when his son Micah was born six weeks prematurely and experienced chronic kidney failure. Micah had to take a variety of medications and undergo dialysis every night until Reed’s wife Katie donated a kidney to him when he was just 19 months old.
Micah is doing well a year after his transplant and Katie is expecting the couple’s second child at the end of this month. But according to Doughty, “The thing you have to remember about renal kidney failure is getting a transplant isn't something that will fix Micah. He may need two or three transplants over his lifetime. He'll be on medicine every day of his life."
For this reason it is important for Doughty to get the word out about early detection of chronic kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP®) offers free screening for those at risk - anyone 18 years and older with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure. It is designed to raise awareness about kidney disease among high risk individuals and provide free testing and educational information, so that kidney disease and its complications can be prevented or delayed.
The National Kidney Foundation urges those at risk to talk to their doctor or attend a free KEEP screening. To learn more about KEEP or the Kidney Walk, visit www.kidneywdc.org or call (202) 244-7900.