Walk for Kidneys Team Spotlight: Kickin’ The Stones
June 24, 2016
Kickin' The Stones: In Honor of Jaimie Juarez
For most seven-year-old kids, a cherry popsicle diet seems pretty ideal. However, not for Jaimie Juarez. After experiencing excruciating back pain and face discoloring, Jaimie’s doctors diagnosed her with strep throat. But when her back pain didn’t subside, Jaimie’s mom knew there was something else wrong. She was right.
At first, Jaimie’s high blood pressure puzzled doctors. When she showed up to Children’s Memorial Hospital, ten doctors swarmed her, eager to find out what was wrong. Luckily for Jaimie, they diagnosed her kidney disease early enough that she didn’t need a transplant or dialysis- just lots of medications, doctors’ appointments, and a low sodium diet.
More than 1.1 million Illinoisans have kidney disease and most don’t know it. Although Jaimie wasn’t aware of her condition, she is thankful that doctors caught it early enough because in a lot of situations this isn’t the case. “I was back to regular functioning. My kidney’s function at 92 percent. There are a lot of people who aren’t as lucky as I am. I wanted to give back.” Jaimie stated passionately.
As a Team Captain of Kickin’ the Stones, Jaimie will participate in the 2016 Walk for Kidneys on June 25th for the second year in a row. So far, Jaimie and her team have surpassed their goal of $2,000, raising over $2,500, and they will continue to raise money until the day of the walk.
When asked why she participates in Walk for Kidneys, Jaimie affirmed, “My favorite part is walking with a bunch of people like me. It’s nice to have support from someone that understands what you’re going through. It’s nice to have people who experienced the same thing you did.”
21 years later, Jaimie is doing well aside from a few kidney infections. She will participate in Walk for Kidney’s with her husband, parents, siblings, and friends. Because not all circumstances are as positive as hers, Jaimie urges everyone to take precautionary steps. “Everyone needs a balanced healthy diet. A lot of people are on the go. They eat stuff that they shouldn’t be eating. Take care of symptoms before it gets bad,” Jaimie suggests.
About the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois
The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois improves the health and well-being of people at risk for and affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment.