Southern Delaware Kidney Walk returns to Cape Henlopen State Park Apr. 29

Millsboro resident Kristy Ferracci, who donated a kidney to her husband Michael, at left, 11 years ago, cuts the ribbon to start a walk in support of the National Kidney Foundation. Ms. Ferracci is the event chairwoman for the April 29 Southern Delaware Kidney Walk.

LEWES – The National Kidney Foundation of Maryland Serving Maryland and Delaware will hold its 10th annual Southern Delaware Kidney Walk, Sunday, Apr. 29, at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.

More than 600 people are expected to step up to raise awareness of kidney disease, organ donation and the importance of early screening and healthy lifestyle for those at risk.

Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 2,175 Delawareans are on dialysis and more than 400 Delawareans are on the organ transplant waiting list. With the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure, the numbers continue to climb.

“Participating in Kidney Walk can help save lives,” said returning event chair Kristy Ferracci, an FKC dialysis technician who donated a kidney to her husband 11 years ago. “NKF reminds walkers that it only takes two simple tests at your primary care doctor’s office to check for any red flags. That’s important, because kidneys are essential to keeping us alive and healthy.”

Check in begins at 10 a.m. at the Picnic Pavilion.

Following a brief ceremony, the walk kicks off at 11 a.m. Participants can choose from a 3-mile route or a shorter, patient-friendly route for strollers and wheelchairs.

The event also features entertainment, refreshments from Starbucks, Giant and Panera, a petting zoo, photo booth, interactive vendor booths and the Kidney Kids Corner with face painting and games sponsored by Kohl’s.

Funds raised through kidney walk will directly support NKF’s local patient services, education and research efforts.

Participation is free, but donations are encouraged. Everyone who raises a minimum of $100 will receive a commemorative walk t-shirt. Additional recognition gifts – including jackets – will be awarded for meeting various fundraising levels.

For online registration, visit www.kidneywalk.org. To learn about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 410.726.8732 to speak with Nicole Scharf, NKF’s associate executive director for the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Southern Delaware.

To date, top sponsors of the Southern Delaware Kidney Walk include Beebe Healthcare, Christiana Care Health System, Nephrology Associates, Walgreens, Woody’s Dewey Beach and Dewey Beach Lions Club.

NKF will hold two additional events: the Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk at The Weinberg Y in Waverly and the Salisbury Kidney Walk at WinterPlace Park – both on May 6.

More than 6,000 people participated in the 2017 Maryland and Delaware Kidney Walk events, which raised $300,000.

Overall, Kidney Walk is the nation’s largest fundraiser to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, 85,000-plus walkers raise more than $9 million to help kidney patients and their families each year, with more than 80 cents of every dollar raised directly supporting NKF programs and services. Azura Vascular Care and Relypsa are national multi-market sponsors and Fresenius Medical Care North America is a national sponsor.

The National Kidney Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.

For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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