In an effort to raise money for The Kidney TRUST™ -- a nonprofit organization aimed at prevention and awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) -- DaVita Inc., the nation's largest independent provider of kidney care, announced today that the 3rd annual "Kidney Awareness Time™" Walk-a-thon (The KAT Walk™) reached more than 250,000 people, and raised more than $100,000 for CKD education programs.
This year's DaVita KAT Walks Across America™, a series of 5k walks designed to raise awareness and funds to fight chronic kidney disease, took place in 20 cities across the U.S. and offered free kidney disease evaluations and screenings courtesy of The Kidney TRUST. Each DaVita® 5k walk represents about 16,900 steps, totaling 337,900 steps traveled -- roughly equivalent to the number of Americans receiving dialysis treatment for kidney failure today.
"The spirit of the walkers was amazing -- gathering in all parts of the country to walk together and make a personal contribution to the fight against kidney disease. These dedicated individuals spent countless hours preparing for the walks, while raising money for the fight against kidney disease," said Barbara L. Lawson, President of The Kidney TRUST. "All of us at The Kidney TRUST are so pleased and proud to be the beneficiary of their efforts, which will support the expansion of The Kidney TRUST's CKD rapid-screening program currently rolling out around the U.S."
Of the 26 million Americans with CKD, only 10 percent are aware they have the disease. Most people do not know they have CKD because early stages of the illness rarely manifest symptoms. This lack of awareness is a major reason for undertaking the DaVita KAT Walks and provides participants with the motivation and desire to educate and inform the general public. The walkers want people to know the importance of getting tested early, rather than waiting until the disease hits a late stage, requiring dialysis care or a kidney transplant.
"Our 32,000 teammates are dedicated to helping patients with chronic kidney disease not only in our dialysis centers, but within their communities as well. Thousands of our DaVita teammates raised over $100,000 for CKD awareness and education programs," said Kent Thiry, DaVita Chairman and CEO. "We are encouraged by the success of the 2008 KAT Walks and are committed to doing even more in 2009."
Early testing and detection gives those with CKD an opportunity to delay the disease or possibly avoid the onset of life-threatening kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant because there is no cure for CKD. In addition, those at high risk for CKD can help protect their kidneys by controlling high blood pressure, maintaining their blood sugar, drinking lots of water and consuming a healthy diet. For more information about The KAT Walks, please visit http://www.davitakatwalks.com/.
DaVita, The KAT Walk, Kidney Awareness Time and The DaVita KAT Walks Across America are trademarks or registered trademarks of DaVita Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
About The Kidney TRUST
The Kidney TRUST was founded in 2006 by DaVita Inc. The Kidney TRUST is an independent, nonprofit organization that believes everyone should be empowered to take a proactive role in their health. The Kidney TRUST seeks to reduce the advancement of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by broadly deploying cost-effective rapid-screening for CKD in non-medical settings, and providing financial assistance to people affected by CKD. For more information visit http://www.kidneytrust.org/.
About DaVita Inc.
DaVita Inc., a FORTUNE 500® company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, providing dialysis services and education for patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita manages more than 1,400 outpatient facilities and acute units in more than 700 hospitals located in 43 states and the District of Columbia, serving approximately 110,000 patients. As part of DaVita's commitment to building a healthy, caring community, DaVita develops, participates in and donates to numerous programs dedicated to transforming communities and creating positive, sustainable change for children, families and our environment. For more information about DaVita, its kidney education materials and its community programs, please visit http://www.davita.com/.
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SOURCE: DaVita Inc.
CONTACT: Kelsey Rood of DaVita Inc., +1-310-536-2404