Kidney walk raises awareness about need for donors - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Kidney walk raises awareness about need for donors

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Millions of Americans have chronic kidney disease. More than 82,000 are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, but not everyone gets the help they need. Every two hours a person waiting for a kidney dies.

One Ty Ty native got lucky, and now she's raising awareness so others get the help they need.

12 years ago, Patricia Ogden spent hours a day sitting in a chair, watching her own blood filter through a machine because her kidney's couldn't do the job

"As soon as I started dialysis back in 1997 I knew I was going to need a transplantation,"said Ogden.

And the treatments took a toll on the 35-year old's body.

"Her weight was gone, her hair was falling out her skin tone had changed, I remember crying and I said its time for us to do something," said Geneva McWhorter.

"That's when my family decided to discuss the options of people coming forward, family members coming forward to be a donor," said Ogden.

Family members were tested, but it was her cousin who decided to give up her own kidney.

"When they say they are going to test you out to make sure you are capable of donating a kidney they take you through the mill. I went through machines that showed my whole body inside and out," said Ogden.

Geneva and Patricia went in for Surgery on December 30th 1999 and came out as different women.

"Six weeks after recuperation and I was perfect again," said McWhorter.

"I'm so thankful for that gift of life..because without it I could still be on dialysis or waiting on a donor on the waiting list," said Ogden.

Wednesday, Patricia and Geneva got folks from the community together for a mini kidney walk in honor of the 10 year anniversary.

Despite the cold weather, supporters walked the track for two hours at 8th street middle.

"It's not a contest its just a way to bring awareness to organ donation and kidney disease," said Ogden.

Walking with hope that others going through dialysis, will someday be given such a precious gift as well.

"Help your bothers and your sisters out as much as possible..life is short so make it sweet," said McWhorter.

Geneva and Patricia will compete in the 2010 Kidney walk which will take place in Atlanta in April.

Patricia says the team's goal was to raise 2,000 dollars from now until April. So far they have raised almost 700 dollars so they are hopeful they will reach that goal.

All the money will go to the National Kidney Foundation.

To donate to the team click here

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