FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008

Contact: Michele Anthony or Rachel Schreibman
(202) 244-7900, ext. 29 or 17

Georgetown Student Gears Up for Kidney Walk in Honor of His Mother and All-Star Athlete Alonzo Mourning

WASHINGTON, DC – Jordan Gray, Class of 2009, has more to focus on in September than his classes in American Studies and Theology homework: he is on the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) Kidney Walk Committee and is getting ready for NKF’s Ronald D. Paul Companies Kidney Walk on September 20 along Georgetown’s C & O Canal. Jordan has long been a dedicated volunteer for the NKF/National Capital Area because two of his loved ones, his mother Vivianne and NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, received kidney transplants and have been close friends for many years.

Vivianne met Alonzo when he was a freshman at Georgetown University and she handled travel for the Georgetown University basketball team through her agency West End Travel. While Alonzo was looking for a donor because he was in kidney failure, Vivianne discovered she too had kidney disease and needed a transplant. During the subsequent years of battling kidney disease and eventually receiving transplants, Vivianne and Alonzo became a support system for one another, calling and texting each other weekly. The two families became tight knit because they were experiencing similar challenges and emotions.

Vivianne describes Alonzo as being like an older brother to Jordan. Jordan says that “while there were ups and downs, rooting for Zo when he got his NBA Championship was an extreme high.” This year will be Jordan’s second time forming his own team to walk in Georgetown and playfully compete against his mother for the top fundraiser spot. Last year, Jordan took to staffing a table on campus during grill outs and talked to peers about organ donation and the Walk. His team of mostly Georgetown University students raised $1,628—a commendable figure, but not enough to beat his mother’s team that raised $4,222. This year, Jordan hopes to surpass what he raised last year.

Georgetown is part of the Washington, DC metropolitan area, which has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in prevalence of kidney disease, in effect making it ground zero of the epidemic. Consider that in the metropolitan area alone:

Nationally, 26 million people have chronic kidney disease and millions more are at risk.

The NKF's Ronald D. Paul Companies Kidney Walk presents an occasion for dialysis patients, organ transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, the medical communities, and the general public to celebrate life and support NKF’s mission. This year for the first time the Walk will be held in two locations: The Shops at Georgetown Park/C & O Canal and Downtown Silver Spring. To learn more about the Kidney Walk or to register to walk in Georgetown, visit www.kidneywdc.org or call (202) 244-7900.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.