Arlington resident Daryle McGhee was diagnosed with kidney disease in his late twenties; but like most people with kidney disease, he didn’t think it was that serious and he put off managing the condition.
“Men don’t like to go to the doctor,” he said. “But, slowly, my body started to shut down.”
Daryle didn’t realize that kidney disease has the ability to progress without obvious symptoms. What he chalked up to stress, poor diet and lack of sleep were actually the effects of his kidneys shutting down. The reality didn’t sink in until Daryle passed out one day. He was rushed to the hospital, tested, and immediately put on dialysis.
Daryle was on dialysis for six months before he received a transplant from his mother, Valerie Matthews. While Daryle is now thriving with a transplant as the Assistant Vice President at First Citizens Bank, he felt the duty to tell others about his story and what they can do to prevent kidney failure.
“Anyone can be personally affected by this disease and everyone can help fight it,” he said.
Kidney disease affects an estimated 26 million Americans. Those at risk for developing kidney disease include anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. Individuals over age 60 are also at risk.
This year, Daryle has formed a team for the National Capital Area Kidney Walk. It’s part of his mission to raise awareness and educate his community in order to prevent others from going through the same health ordeal.
The Kidney Walk is a non-competitive stroll that raises funds to fight kidney disease through awareness, prevention and treatment programs. In Virginia alone, an estimated 11,000 people are being treated for kidney failure, and over 2,800 are awaiting a kidney transplant.
The National Capital Area Walk will be held on May 17, 2014 at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. Onsite registration begins at 8 a.m. and the Walk starts at 9 a.m. Walkers participate as individuals or form teams with family, friends or colleagues to fundraise in the fight against kidney disease. Those interested in getting involved or supporting a walker can visit www.kidneywalk.org or can call 202-244-7900, ext. 11.
The Kidney Walk’s National Presenting Sponsor is Astellas; the National Corporate Partner is Questcor.
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information, visit www.kidneywalk.org.