Thursday, 12 March 2009

World Kidney Day

When I was an undergrad, my sorority's national charity was the National Kidney Foundation, as when it was founded Kidney Disease was the number one cause of death in women. When I first joined it didn't mean much to me, but I still raised money. Unfortunately during my sophomore year, my aunt passed away due to Kidney failure and suddenly my philanthropy meant a whole lot more to me.

Some quick facts:
  • 26 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and millions more are at risk. Most people are not aware that they have CKD or are at risk

  • There are 100,000 people waiting for organ transplants in the USA

  • 24% of those waiting for kidneys received transplants, 76% are still on the waiting list

  • More than 485,000 Americans are being treated for kidney failure, also called end stage renal disease, or ESRD. Of these, more than 341,000 are dialysis patients

  • One year patient survival rates for kidney transplants are 94.5%(cadaveric) &97.9%(live donor)

  • Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act

I'm not asking you to donate a kidney, but if you aren't already an organ donor, why aren't you? Personally I am an organ donor and am on bone marrow registers in the US and UK. If you can help save someone's life why wouldn't you?

My friend Gretchen donated one of her kidneys to her father; I can't imagine a more honorable and selfless thing.

So in honor of today, why not head over to the National Kidney Foundation website and even just learn more about kidney disease and organ transplantation. Or if you are really generous join the donor list or make a donation.

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