This year, I’m a team captain for the 2013 National Kidney Foundation’s Northern VA Kidney Walk. I’ve participated in a few charity walks in the past, but this one is near and dear to my heart. Let me tell you why.
Last year, my fiancé, Mark, got really sick. With February being smack dab in the middle of flu season, we thought he had caught the nasty virus. It started out as congestion in his chest, which rapidly got worse. Turns out it wasn’t the flu at all. He developed full blown double pneumonia. He had such a hard time breathing that he couldn’t even walk. He literally had to crawl out of bed. I called 911, and he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. It was that moment that changed our lives.
Once he reached the emergency room, Mark’s blood pressure was off the charts. He was having such difficulty breathing that he was fighting the oxygen mask the nurses had placed over his nose and mouth. His blood oxygen level was so low that the doctors and nurses immediately rushed him to the ICU and placed him in a medically induced coma.
His blood test results came back, and I received shocking news. His kidney function was only 8%. He had been suffering from severe hypertension (high blood pressure), and his kidneys had been severely damaged. The doctor told me his kidney function would not likely recover, and he would need a kidney transplant.
Mark was in the ICU for five days. He had a breathing tube down his throat. Antibiotics were pumped into his body to clear up the pneumonia. When your kidneys fail, all of the fluid and toxins build up in your blood and your body starts to shut down. That is what happened to Mark. The fluid had built up in his lungs and he was drowning. It also caused a blood clot to form in his heart. The doctors were amazed he didn’t suffer a massive stroke.
He spent the next five weeks in the hospital. He had to have a catheter placed in his chest so that he could receive dialysis. Later, a fistula was created in his arm so that he could receive dialysis long term. He now has to closely monitor his fluid intake, as well as his diet, and take medication daily. He has dialysis every Mon-Wed-Fri for 4.5 hours a day. Dialysis is his lifeline until he receives a kidney transplant.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million Americans have kidney disease. That’s one in nine adults. Yet most people don’t know they have it. Did you know that diabetes and high blood pressure are the top two causes of chronic kidney disease? Before all of this happened, I definitely wasn’t aware of this startling statistic.
This disease is highly preventable – we just need to bring awareness to it so people know what to look for and learn the behaviors they should take to lower their risk. Did you know that lowering your sodium intake, getting enough exercise, and monitoring your blood pressure can not only help reduce heart disease, but can also save your kidneys?
Too many people die or suffer long term health complications due to kidney disease. We need to do something to stop it.
Now, I’m asking for your help.
Mark and I have formed M&M’s Kidney Dream Team for the 2013 NKF Northern VA Kidney Walk on April 21, 2013. We have set a goal to raise $250, money that will be used to raise awareness and fund prevention efforts for kidney disease. We’ve already raised $130. We just need a bit more to meet our goal.
Will you consider making a $5 donation to our team? I understand times are tough for many, so if you can’t make a donation, can you please spread the word? If you’re able to give a little bit more, that’s great too! Let’s make this happen!
**Update: Giveaway has ended**
Now, the best part…
You’re giving back by donating, so I want to give back to you!
The fabulous ladies at Healthy Living Blogs have done something fantastic. I’ve been smiling ear to ear all week just thinking about it. They have donated three months of ad space on healthylivingblogs.com for one lucky Healthy Living Blog member who makes a $5 donation to my team!!!
Looking for more exposure for your health blog? Now you can have it free for three months! So awesome!
Note: In order to win the ad space, you must be a Healthy Living Blog member. Click here to join!
In order to be eligible for the giveaway:
- Make a $5 donation on my team page.
- Come back here and leave a comment that you donated. List your blog name and verify that you’re an HLB member.
I will randomly choose one lucky winner on Friday, April 5th. I will notify the winner by email with all the details.
Good luck, and thanks for supporting me! Most importantly, take care of your health! We only live once. Let’s make it the best life it can be!
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