Make your home page

Annual canal walk to raise kidney disease awareness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The National Kidney Foundation of Indiana will gather Indianapolis residents on Saturday to fight kidney disease as a part of their annual walk along the canal.

The walk starts at the Stardust Terrace at the Indiana Historical Society. MINI USA driver Clayton Williams will be there to greet guests and sign autographs.

Attendees can take advantage of the Kidney Health Risk Assessment, a tool to help them determine if they are at risk for kidney disease.

9 out of 10 people with early kidney disease are unaware of their condition due to the lack of noticeable symptoms until it reaches the later stages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The disparity is even more pronounced among Black Americans, who are 3.4 times more likely to develop kidney failure. Contributing factors include high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, two leading causes of kidney failure, the American Kidney Fund reported.

Joy Araujo, a National Kidney Foundation of Indiana representative, spoke with News 8 about her personal connection to the event.

Araujo was diagnosed with kidney disease at 10 years old and has had two kidney transplants. She recalled waking up one morning with her eyes swollen shut.

Soon after, she received the diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome. She says the event serves as a reminder that symptoms of kidney disease can often go unnoticed until they become severe.

“I think this is so important because one in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease, and most don’t even know if symptoms of kidney disease can be silent until very severe, and I was one of those people who did not know,” Araujo said. “So, talking to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease is important. Kidney disease can be diagnosed with a simple urine test. So, ask your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease and be aware of your risk factors.”

Funds raised during the kidney walk will support initiatives, including kidney camps for children with kidney disease or who have received a kidney transplant. The funds will also contribute to free kidney public health screening events held throughout the year.

“We have patients, transplant recipients, dialysis patients, doctors, and caretakers to come out and celebrate kidney health and what it means to be a kidney patient” Aroujo said.

Registration for the walk starts at 8:30 a.m., and the walk officially begins at 9:00 a.m.