EAST PEORIA (25 News Now) - In 2013, Chicago native Monica Fox said seemingly out of nowhere she was diagnosed with stealthy disease.
“Kidney disease is a silent killer. It’s a silent disease. There are no symptoms,” Fox said.
The CDC reports kidney disease as the ninth leading cause of death in Illinois. Despite its prevalence, few know about the disease.
Now, cured from the disease through a transplant, Fox works with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois spreading awareness about the disease.
“Knowledge is power, and I am just grateful to be able to help impart that knowledge on the general public,” Fox said.
Often linked to diabetes and high blood pressure, kidney disease can be caused by lifestyle or genetics. If left untreated, it can lead to failure and a need for a transplant.
“It’s important to get the word out so that people can ask their doctor and find out if they have kidney problems because then they can make those changes with their diet and their lifestyle to prevent it from getting worse,” Medical director of OSF kidney transplants Dr. Chris Johnson said.
To combat the disease, the national kidney foundation created Kidney Health for Life a campaign that aims to educate about high rates of kidney disease, especially in Hispanic, African American, and Asian populations throughout Illinois.
“It’s not like having a heart attack where you feel the chest pain. It’s not like that and so that’s why we need to educate and bring awareness and have people talk to their doctor about it,” Johnson said.
This Saturday at 8am in East Peoria at Illinois Central College Kidney Health for Life is hosting Living with Kidney Disease & Transplantation, a seminar aimed at providing support to those living with kidney disease.
To register for the seminar, click here.