The National Kidney Foundation Serving Western New York held its annual Genesee County Kidney walk today at Genesee County Park.
Participants walked 1.5 miles around the park to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation, then came back to a shelter where there was plenty of food and drink available. Care-a-Van ministry was also on hand with plenty of drinks and prayer for those in need.
Continued after the jump:
Walk Chair, Batavia Police Detective Richard Schauf, has a special connection to the cause. In 2007, his daughter Rachel was a senior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Out of nowhere, she began not feeling well. She was diagnosed with Wagner's Vasculitis, which clogs the filtration system of the kidneys, along with causing other health problems. Because of Rachel's young age, many of her test results came back negative. But suddenly her kidneys began to rapidly deteriorate. She was in stage 5 kidney disease before she was diagnosed. Rachel then had to go on dialysis.
"One day you don't have a problem, the next day your on dialysis," Schauf said. "She was just cruising through life when this disease decided to get ahold of her. My message is that this can happen to anyone."
Rachel was lucky enough to get most of her kidney function back and was able to get off of dialysis. Today Rachel is in remission and has made a positive out of her experience with kidney disease.
"No one knows what an ordeal this is unless you have been through it," noted Schauf. "Knowing how this disease devastates families made me want to help others."
The Genesee County Kidney Walk raises funds to make a difference in the lives of people like Rachel, the 170,000 Western New Yorkers with kidney disease, and the 1,600 individuals in our community who are on dialysis.
The NKF is a major health organization seeking to prevent kidney and urological diseases, improve health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of organs for transplant. For more information visit www.kidney.org
Pictured here are the 10 members of the Committee for the NKF Genesee County Walk. They are: Jim and Sue Rosenbeck, Rich and Debbie Schauf, Carrie DiFrancesco, Tracy Stokes, Kathy Frank, Maria Batt, Louis and Rustie Reeb.
For those interested, next year's walk will be held on Sunday, Oct. 2.