A former WLBT sports personality and kidney transplant recipient who died in December 2011 was remembered at a Mississippi Kidney Foundation event Saturday. The 2012 Michael Rubenstein kidney walk took place in Fondren.
The walk is a non-competitive fund raiser which focuses on kidney disease and organ donor awareness.
Some of the 350 people gathered for the walk suffer from kidney disease themselves. They're shining examples of controlling the disease, instead of letting the disease control them.
12 year old Eldeshun Miller of Edwards lost his grandmother, Emma, to kidney failure last year. He's afflicted too.
"When I was 3 I had my kidney removed. It caused me to have high blood pressure and everything," Miller says. "I've been taking medicine since I was 3 so it's been ok."
He came out and walked with his family.
So did William Wright. He walked with his three daughters.
"I think the main thing for people to know is it's not the end of the world," Wright says.
Wright has polycystic kidney disease. He's been on dialysis for five years.
"I'm doing nocturnal now. It's a new program where we do it at night. We do it slow, simple, it's head and shoulders above the other types. It really hasn't altered my life that much. I'm out here walking this morning. I get up every morning, walk five miles," he says.
Wright drives himself to and from dialysis at UMC. But so many patients don't have transportation. The Mississippi Kidney Foundation says that's one of the biggest problems patients face.
"Here, you gotta go to dialysis three times a week, be hooked up to a machine four hours a day, then afterwards you don't feel like driving even if you have a car. It's huge," says Gail Sweat, Executive Director of the Mississippi Kidney Foundation.
But the $100,000 raised at this event will help that.
The walk also includes a golf ball drop from Skycopter 3. The team with the winning ball wins $1,000, and this year the winner was Bay Springs Dialysis Group.
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