Gift of Life Walk for Kidney Disease Raises More Than $120,000

On Sunday, June 30, 2013, more than 2,200 people participated in the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ (NKFI) annual Gift of Life Walk presented by Baxter International Inc.  The three-mile walk held at the Soldier Field Great Lawn raised more than $120,000 for the NKFI, an organization which improves the health and well being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease across the state through prevention, education and empowerment.

The Gift of Life Walk also raised awareness for kidney disease, which affects more than one million people in Illinois.  Walkers enjoyed educational information, live entertainment, kids’ activities and healthy living tips in addition to the walk along Lake Michigan.  Participants included dialysis patients, transplant recipients and donors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, people with kidney disease and those who support them.

Among the participants was Chicago resident Daniel Perez, 34, whose wait for a kidney transplant inspired him to walk. “Being part of the Gift of Life Walk is an inspiring reminder of this journey shared with so many families who benefit tremendously from NKFI support and programming.”

“The Walk gives the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois the perfect opportunity to talk about a disease that affects too many too late,” said Kate O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. “Our hope is that one day every person at risk for kidney disease can get the education and treatment that they need.”

One in three American adults is currently at risk for kidney disease. If left untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, causing those affected to rely on dialysis or a transplant to survive.

“Baxter is proud to join the NKFI in advancing information and support for the kidney disease community,” said Jill Schaaf, global franchise head of Baxter’s Renal franchise and board member for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. “Baxter has long been on the forefront of developing innovative solutions for people with kidney disease, and we are committed to working with leading organizations like the NKFI in advancing educational resources as well as treatment outcomes for those affected by kidney disease.”

See photos here.