In spring 2023, U.S. Renal Care (USRC) partnered with the American Kidney Fund (AKF) to create a team for the 37 Mile Challenge. The 37 Mile Challenge gives participants the opportunity to challenge themselves to walk or run 37 miles in one month while fundraising for AKF and raising awareness of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease. We were delighted for the participation of USRC, whose mission is to change the lives of people living with kidney disease.
USRC serves more than 26,000 patients across 32 states in more than 400 facilities, providing in-center and home dialysis. USRC learned of the 37 Mile Challenge last year when it was featured during AKF's annual gala, The Hope Affair, the theme of which was "The Power of Community."
"Partnership with the kidney community is consistent with our vision and supports our value of 'inclusion: everyone belongs,'" explained Torrance Hucks, the director of diversity, equity & inclusion at USRC. The 37 Mile Challenge was another way for USRC to accomplish this goal. "Supporting activities and events in the kidney community is a fulfilling experience for our employees that participate, and funds raised provide meaningful support for individuals, families and loved ones living with kidney diseases."
Some of those individuals living with kidney disease or with loved ones living with the disease were members of USRC's team, which boasted 67 employees from across the country.
"My uncle was on dialysis for about eight years," said Moanalia Wong. "Last year, I was being evaluated to become a possible kidney donor for him. Unfortunately, he passed away about a month ago."
"I had a sister-in-law with kidney disease, who has passed away," said Helen Powell. They added that USRC "can change the lives of those living with kidney disease through education."
"I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease about three years ago and I didn't have any symptoms. This led me to participating in all efforts related to kidney disease awareness," said William Henderson. "Kidney disease is a silent disease, and everyone needs to have the proper testing to be more knowledgeable about this insidious disease."
"My late husband was an ESRD [end-stage renal disease] patient and underwent dialysis for eight years, two of which I was his home hemodialysis care partner. He also had a kidney transplant for 12 years," said Yessica Rivas. "I would like for patients to have more awareness of the consequences of diabetes and hypertension [high blood pressure] on the kidneys; many patients are not aware that both can lead to kidney failure."
In addition to raising awareness, the USRC team successfully raised $11,223 to support AKF's patients and programs — exceeding their fundraising goal! After this smash success, they plan to participate again in the spring 2024 challenge.
"We thank the AKF for their continued support for individuals living with kidney disease and look forward to continued partnership with you in supporting the kidney community," said Torrance.