Falls Park Lit Orange, Raising Kidney Disease Awareness

Falls Park Lit Orange, Raising Kidney Disease Awareness

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. It’s often a silent killer with no early warning signs. However, there are ways to find out if you have it.

That’s motivating the National Kidney Foundation to act. They’re working all month to spread the word about who’s at risk, and how to help those living with it.

Thursday night, Falls Park was lit orange. It’s a color of hope to those with kidney disease. Experts believe more than 30 million men and women in the U.S. have it, but only 10% have been diagnosed.

“There are really no symptoms to kidney disease until it’s pretty much too late, and you’re stage four or five when you start getting symptomatic,” says Gene Dickey of the National Kidney Foundation.

The leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Early detection is simple: talk to your doctor and get a blood and urine test.

Angie Kelley has type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed with kidney disease 10 years ago. She is now on dialysis, and has made it her mission to become healthy.

“It is kind of my number one goal right now. I’m in school and I’ve got a lot of other stuff going on, but if I could have just one thing it would be to get a new kidney,” says Kelley.

Angie has been on the list for a kidney transplant for three years, but still hasn’t found a match.

“Several people offer to be a living donor for me, but unfortunately there is more to it than just the same blood type. There are other considerations that go into it,” says Kelley.

That includes family history and personal health reasons, so Angie continues to wait.

“I am mainly pretty happy-go-lucky, but there are times when this is just a bummer,” says Kelley.

If you’re considering donating a kidney to help someone like Angie, it would be at no cost to you.

“The recipients insurance covers the medical testing, surgery and any other medical expenses that has to do with the transplant,” says Dickey, “ A donor can give one kidney, still live a healthy life and give that second chance of life to that patient.”

90,000 patients nationwide, like Angie, are waiting for a kidney donation. World kidney day is March 8th and the foundation is encouraging people to wear orange that day.

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