This Sunday in Colorado Springs is the 2019 southern Colorado Kidney Walk at Memorial Park.
Dr. Jesse Flaxenburg, MD with Pikes Peak Nephrology feels strongly that more needs to be done to raise awareness. “Kidney disease is very common. It's a life-altering diagnosis. Everyone is aware of how cancer affects people but what people probably don't realize is that more people will die this year from kidney failure, then either breast cancer or prostate cancer.”
Dr. Flaxenburg says one of the big reasons why is the silent nature of the early symptoms of kidney disease. “One of the main problems with kidney diseases that there are no symptoms until it's too late. You can have abnormal kidney function, in fact severely abnormal kidney function and not know it. The only way to know is to have a blood test. Once you develop symptoms from kidney disease you have kidney failure and it's too late, our options options become much more limited. They are essentially limited to dialysis and transplant.”
That is exactly the situation in 2018 that Tess Lafera found herself in. She was 27 years old at the time.
Tess recalls, “I think I caught the emergency room at a good time, there was no one really there. Based on my symptoms the triage nurse said, ‘we need to get you back immediately.’ The doctor came in ten minutes later and ran a bunch of tests did a whole assessment.”
The news that she was in kidney failure and needed a transfusion was a shock. Tess says, I was scared to be honest. I didn't know anything about kidney failure and to me it felt like almost to death sentence.”
Dr. Flaxenburg says, “We can keep people alive who have kidney failure but the machine we use is a pretty poor replacement for a human kidney. By far the better option for the treatment of kidney failure is a kidney transplant.”
In our next Your Healthy Family story Tess shares the amazing way she found a kidney donor who was a total stranger, and how she's doing today.
Tess and Dr. Flaxenburg will be at this Sunday's Kidney Walk. Registration and check in begins at 8:30 Sunday morning at Memorial Park. I hope to see you out there to walk for a very important cause.
To register, or get more information on this Sunday’s southern Colorado Kidney Walk, you can visit the webpage HERE