16th Annual Kidney Walk puts spotlight on chronic disease

The National Kidney Foundation says 30 million Americans currently live with the disease.

Tim Jimenez
October 14, 2018 - 12:02 pm

Tim Jiminez| KYWNewsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) - A large crowd took to the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps for the 16th Annual Kidney Walk Sunday morning.

The National Kidney Foundation says 30 million Americans currently live with the disease.

Michele Toy, executive director of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, says it's a disease that doesn't get as much attention as other illnesses.

"There are 30 million who have chronic kidney disease and many are unaware of it," she said. "It's as simple as saying, 'Hey doc, how are my kidneys?'"

Nick Cicerone knows how important that question is. He gets dialysis treatments three days a week. His life is different now but he says, with the help of his family, he won't let kidney disease get him down. 

"I keep doing my thing no matter what. Living day by day has been great. Especially being on dialysis, I feel a lot better throughout the day," he said.

Lauren Jackson, of South Philadelphia, says the treatments have altered her life. 

"Sometimes you can get a little depressed that you have to continue doing it. But if you keep going, eventually you become used to it and it's just like anything else you have to do." 

Temple freshman Sadie Gustafson is using her voice to show her support. She wrote a song entitled 'The Time is Now', which she performed at the event to raise money in honor of her sister's fight against kidney disease.

"I kind of had those words in my head before I started writing it. Thinking about taking action. The time is always now there's no time to wait," she said.

Organizers for the annual walk say they've raised nearly $500,000 dollars for programs that help those in the area who are dealing with chronic kidney disease.