March Gladness: Why a Georgia church fundraises to help kidney patients

AKF Staff  |  Posted
Pastor Marvin C. Jones 5K

Members of the American Kidney Fund’s KIDNEYNATION community of fundraisers come from all walks of life and they’ve been touched by kidney disease in almost every way imaginable. This weekend—during Kidney Month—Central Baptist Church in Lilburn, Georgia is holding a 5K race, dubbed “March Gladness,” to raise funds to support AKF’s mission of helping people fight kidney disease and live healthier lives. Kidney Today asked Pastor Marvin C. Jones to tell us why.

Why did you want to spread awareness about kidney disease (CKD)?
One of my closest friends was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant. I watched the disease weaken the body of a man who I considered to be strong while he waited and hoped for a donor. Watching his journey and witnessing his success has inspired me to spread the word about kidney disease. Even though I was not able to donate a kidney to him, I am able to be vocal in the community about kidney awareness.

Why do you think it’s important for your congregation and community to be aware of CKD? 
We are a small church with less than 120 members who are predominately African-American.  Even in such a small congregation, we have members who have experienced CKD themselves and also know people with the disease.  Kidney disease has affected many in our community by way of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. I believe it is my duty as a community leader to spread awareness and prevention to minimize risk. 

What message do you hope this event sends?
Central Baptist Church desires to be a beacon of light in our community and we care about the total person both physically and spiritually.  This event will raise awareness and also raise support in the community. More importantly, we hope to see change in behavior such as eating heathier, exercising and yearly exams that can keep us all healthier and help prevent kidney disease.

Why did you chose to work with KIDNEYNATION on this fundraiser?
The team at KINDEYNATION is willing to assist in our endeavor.  They have met with members of our church, shared ideas and spent time answering questions with our staff.  We are looking for a long-term partnership with KIDNEYNATION and the American Kidney Fund to help bring awareness to our church and the community in which we serve. 

What is the importance of health and wellness to you and what message do you spread to your members regarding a holistic approach to health and wellness? 
God has graciously given us an earthen body to enjoy and to provide great care.  This care comes as a sacrifice to many as we are careful about our diet, exercise and taking medicine if needed. 

The Central Baptist Church March Gladness 5K fundraising run takes place on Saturday, March 18. For more information, or to support their fundraising efforts, visit their webpage.

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