Faculty, fellows and families from the UNC Kidney Center participated in the 2018 Triangle Kidney Walk, to create awareness for the urgency of kidney disease, expand the conversation about kidney health and raise funds for patient programs.

“Approximately one in seven adults in the US has chronic kidney disease (CKD), which doesn’t show symptoms until the late stages,” said Abhi Kshirsagar, MD, MPH, medical director of the UNC Kidney Education Outreach Program (KEOP). “By the time someone knows they have CKD, the only option is usually dialysis and transplant. Early screening can improve and extend lives.”

The UNC Kidney Center is focused on a research portfolio of clinical, translational and basic kidney research, which includes early diagnosis. KEOP focuses on community interventions to raise awareness, promote early screenings and organ donation.

“The Kidney Walk is one of the many ways we advocate for patients and support our community,” said Jill Powell, MPH, UNC KEOP Director. “Our nephrologists are committed to patient-centered care that improves the lives of people with kidney disease. We stand with the patients and families who are affected, and we also walk with them.”

The 2018 Triangle Kidney Walk took place on November 4, and raised over $65,000 to fund programs and services in the Triangle and across North Carolina.

The National Kidney Foundation describes kidney disease as an under-recognized public health crisis, and the American Society of Nephrology recognizes it as a hidden epidemic. Kidney disease affects more than 850 million people worldwide–double the number of diabetics (422 million) and more than 20 times the number of people with cancer (42 million) or HIV/Aids (36.7 million). Unfortunately, many patients with kidney disease are not aware of their risk, most often because there are no early symptoms. Fighting an epidemic requires advocacy and action.

To learn more about UNC’s KEOP visit: https://unckidneycenter.org/outreach/. To learn more about the National Kidney Foundation’s Walk, visit NFK, Serving North Carolina.