Local Kidney Walk ambassadors invite all to take part in 11th annual event

With scissors in hand Meghan Rice along with her husband Wes and their daughter Charlotte in the stroller cuts the ribbon to the 2017 Salisbury Kidney Walk. The Mt. Vernon couple takes part in honor of their daughter who was born in 2016 without kidneys and is on dialysis regularly until a donor kidney becomes available. This year’s walk is May 6 at Winter Place Park and again some 500 people are expected to participate.

SALISBURY — The National Kidney Foundation’s 11th annual Salisbury Kidney Walk returns to Winter Place Park on Sunday, May 6 with Walk Ambassadors Meghan, Wes and Charlotte Rice of Mt. Vernon again cutting the ribbon at 10 a.m.


Charlotte was born in 2016 with no kidneys and has been on dialysis since she was one-week-old. She is awaiting a kidney transplant. Funds raised through the Kidney Walk will directly support NKF’s local patient services, education and research efforts.


“I would like to spread awareness that Kidney disease does not discriminate based on age or race,” Mrs. Rice wrote recently on her Facebook page. “Please donate and help support Charlotte’s journey.”


At the walk more than 500 people are expected to step up to raise awareness of kidney disease, organ donation and the importance of early screening and healthy lifestyle for those at risk. As the 9th leading cause of death in the United States, kidney disease affects 9,300 Marylanders. With the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure, the numbers continue to climb.


“Participating in Kidney Walk can help save lives,” said returning event Chair Stephanie Elliott, MS, BSN, CNN (renal services program manager with Peninsula Regional Medical Center). “NKF reminds walkers that it only takes two simple tests at your primary care doctor’s office to check for any red flags. That’s important, because kidneys are essential to keeping us alive and healthy.”


Participants can choose from a 3-mile route or shorter path for strollers and wheelchairs. Adding to the fun, everyone can enjoy refreshments from Panera Bread, Giant and Starbucks, music by Moonbeam Entertainment and the Kidney Kids Corner with face painting and games.


Participation is free, but donations are encouraged. Everyone who raises a minimum of $100 will receive a commemorative Walk T-shirt. Additional recognition gifts — including jackets — will be awarded for meeting various fundraising levels.


For online registration, visit www.kidneywalk.org. To learn about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 410-726-8732 to speak with Nicole Scharf, NKF’s associate executive director for the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Southern Delaware.


Event check in begins at 9 a.m. Following warm-up exercises and announcements by WMDT-TV Meteorologist Daniel Johnson, the Walk will kick off at 10 a.m. Winter Place Park is located at 6737 Blue Ribbon Road in Salisbury.


To date, top sponsors of the Salisbury Kidney Walk include Christiana Care Health System, Walgreens, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Peninsula Nephrology Associates, Farmers Bank of Willards and Delmarva Kidney and Hypertension Specialists.


The Kidney Walk is the nation’s largest fundraiser to fight kidney disease. In this region the NKF will hold two additional events: the Southern Delaware Kidney Walk, Apr. 29, at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes and the Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk, May 6 at The Weinberg Y in Waverly. In all, more than 6,000 people participated in the 2017 Maryland and Delaware Kidney Walk events, which raised $300,000.


Overall, Kidney Walk is the nation’s largest fundraiser to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, over 85,000 walkers raise more than $9 million to help kidney patients and their families each year, with more than 80 cents of every dollar raised directly supporting NKF programs and services. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

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