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The annual Kidney Kare 5K Run/Walk will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary on Saturday, March 14.

The annual Kidney Kare 5K Run/Walk will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary on Saturday, March 14.

Suzie Hosman, Race Director, has announced that this will be the final year of the Kidney Kare.

While the event has drawn many participants and supporters, Hosman reported that the Kidney Kare has been unable to thrive with the growing number of other races in the community.

Even though the Kidney Kare is coming to an end, Hosman said that the event has had a big impact on several important missions of the Kidney Center.

The Kidney Kare has played an important role in getting out the message “Hey Doc, How Are My Kidneys?”®, the Kidney Center’s outreach slogan, which encourages people to ask their doctors about their kidney function.

The race also has increased awareness of the Kidney Education Outreach Program (KEOP) efforts, which include promoting “Hey Doc” to the citizens of North Carolina, raising awareness of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors, and conducting kidney screenings throughout the state, especially in counties that have higher prevalence rates of end-stage kidney disease.

The Kidney Kare also supports the Emergent Need Fund, which provides financial assistance for kidney patients in need. Race proceeds have gone directly to individuals in need of assistance.

The UNC Kidney Center’s Annual Fund will continue to be in place to help support the Emergent Need Fund, and Hosman plans to focus her efforts on gaining the greatly needed support. Another important source of support is the Raven Rock Ramble, an annual bike ride organized by David Cole, a kidney transplant recipient. This event raises funds for the Kidney Center.

The final race of the Kidney Kare will take place at McDougle Middle School in Carrboro, on March 14.

Q+A with Suzie Hosman

What do you remember about the very first Kidney Kare?
The doom of a rainy day giving way to a beautiful, sunny day…we definitely dodged a bullet that year!

You’ve been organizing this event since the first Kidney Kare. How has it changed overall?

Over the years the event itself hasn’t changed too much. A group of annual participants has made the event feel more celebratory.

Which has been your favorite year?
That’s like asking which child is my favorite…I love them all!

What have you enjoyed the most about this event?
Providing a venue for people to celebrate/remember loved ones and spreading the word about the need to ask “Hey Doc, How are my kidneys?”

What will you miss?
Working with the volunteers, Town of Carrboro and getting to know the participants.

How have you changed as a result of the Kidney Kare?
I have a LOT more gray hair.

Which part of the race makes you the most excited? The Start or the Finish?
I love getting ready for the start and also watching the kids run to the finish.

What do you look forward to helping the Kidney Center with in future endeavors?
I will continue to spread the UNCKC trademarked “Hey Doc” message. Continue to raise funds for KEOP, Kidney Patient Emergent Fund and other areas at the UNCKC that need support.