Meteorologist Steve Baskerville, Secretary of State Jesse White, to Speak at Walk for Kidneys

June 5, 2015
CHICAGO, IL

National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Hosts 16th Annual Fundraising Walk for Kidney Disease

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois will host the 16th annual Walk for Kidneys health fair, fundraiser and awareness event on Sunday, June 21 at Soldier Field. Steve Baskerville, meteorologist for WBBM CBS Channel 2 Chicago, will serve as emcee for the morning, and has attended and supported the walk for many years. Secretary of State Jesse White, head of the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Program, will also speak on his personal connection to kidney disease and the importance of organ donation.

Walk for Kidneys will raise awareness and funds for kidney disease prevention, education and empowerment programs offered by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease, and Walk for Kidneys will drive the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois to change this statistic, one step at a time. Free registration for the walk is available online at www.nkfi.org.

The three-mile walk along Lake Michigan includes a health fair, refreshments, music, entertainment and fun activities for all ages. Activities will include Zumba, provided by Baxter (Walk for Kidneys Presenting Sponsor) as well as a performance by the Jesse White Tumbling Team, with a DJ and music from Bizar Entertainment. Walk for Kidneys expects to bring together over 4,000 participants from the Chicagoland kidney community for a day of camaraderie and walking strong for kidney health.

One member of the kidney community, Megan Craig, a living kidney donor, will attend Walk for Kidneys as a team captain. “I walk to raise money to support the NKFI because they were there to help me throughout the [kidney] donation process,” Megan stated. Megan donated her kidney four years ago to 20-month-old Evan. Now five years old, Evan is doing well and will begin kindergarten this fall. Through her donation, Megan, who has a small family of her own, gained an extended family in Evan, his sister, and their cousins.

Through kidney donation, Megan’s perspective changed on kidney disease. She now uses her experience to educate and promote awareness of a disease she believes not many people realize exists. Megan raises awareness through writing articles in the Chicago Tribune as well as wearing buttons to prompt others to ask about their meaning.

Megan’s Walk for Kidneys team, Evan’s Angels, is dedicated to educating the Chicagoland area about the option of being a living organ donor, who can help someone like Evan live a longer, healthier life. Megan has offered her time, money and kidney to the fight against kidney disease, and toward the promotion of organ donation. So far, Evan’s Angels has raised over $2,200 since late April.

Walk for Kidneys is made possible each year through the support of teams, such as Evan’s Angels, plus countless volunteers, donors and sponsors. Walk for Kidneys will be presented by Baxter, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. Baxter anticipates bringing a team of more than 400 - including employees and their family members - to enjoy the festivities. Top sponsors also include Gold Sponsor, Astellas Pharma US Inc., and National Multi-Market Partner, Satellite Healthcare Inc.

About the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois
The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois improves the health and well-being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment.