BLOOMINGTON — The Central Illinois Chapter of The Links is planning a kidney screening drive at the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal next week.
Established in 1974, CIC The Links is a group of women "who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry," according to the group's website.
With that goal in mind, the local chapter has planned two area screening drives aimed at raising kidney health awareness among Black residents. The drives are part of a new CIC initiative called "Black K.A.R.E. ( Kidney Awareness, Resources, & Education)."
"CIC’s Black K.A.R.E. program will provide several activities enabling community members to increase their awareness of CKD, and steps to help manage or reduce the diagnoses of chronic kidney disease in the Black community," the group said in a news release.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 7 Americans or more than 37 million people have chronic kidney disease — and the majority of people are undiagnosed. The research also shows CKD disproportionately affects Black Americans: While Black Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population overall, the group accounts for 35% of the population with end-stage kidney disease.
CIC The Link will offer two chances for people to be screened for kidney health, the first of which will be Nov. 4 at the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. A second screening opportunity will be Nov. 5 at the Carver Center in Peoria. Both clinics will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the help of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, which will provide a kidney mobile for the events.
Both events are free, as is CIC's K.A.R.E. program.