UNION — The staff of the DCI center in Union all wore orange to work Thursday as part of World Kidney Day.
World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign conducted by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. It is observed the second Thursday in March which is also National Kidney Month.
The goal of World Kidney Day and National Kidney Month is to raise public awareness of the importance of healthy kidneys and the impact of kidney disease which, in the United States alone, kills more than 90,000 people a year.
Among those helping promote this awareness is the staff of the Dialysis Clincic Inc. or DCI clinic at 315 Thomson Boulevard in Union.
DCI is the largest is the largest non-profit dialysis provider in the United States with clinics throughout the country. Its Union clinic provides dialysis to 60 patients who are suffering from End Stage Renal Disease, the fifth and final stage of kidney failure.
In addition to providing dialysis services, the staff is also working to promote the importance of good kidney health and the dangers of kidney disease
To do that, the center, as part of both World Kidney Day and National Kidney Month, is participating in the “Paint The Town Orange” campaign which uses the color orange to promote kidney health awareness.
Last week, members of the staff decorated Main Street with orange bows donated by Joyce’s Forist, Gwinn’s Florist, and Two Sister Florals and More.
On Thursday, the staff all work orange tee-shirts to work. The tee-shirts each bear the image of “Billy the Kidney.”
“We just wanted to do something different,” said Clinic Manager Missy Oakman. “It was a competition among all the DCI clinics in the Spartanburg are. Each clinic came up with a team name and a tee-shirt design.
“We wanted to do something with a western theme and we thought of Billy the Kid and decided that Billy the Kidney would be cute,” she said “We wanted to do a cowboy kidney and western theme for the tee-shirts.”
Oakman said the clinic’s patients also got in on the activities with some wearing the tee-shirts as well. She said some of the female patients had their fingernails painted orange by the staff.
There were also treats for both the patients and the staff. Oakman said Kirby’s Cake Shoppe donated orange cupcakes which the staff gave to all of their patients. She said the staff dined on hot dogs grilled during a cookout at the clinic.
While everyone enjoyed the lighter side of Paint The Town Orange, Oakman said it all had the serious purpose of helping the public understand how importance of regular checkups that include blood and urine tests. She said these tests are vital to the early detection of kidney disease when it can still be address through medical compliance, diet and exercise. Oakman said there is no cure for kidney disease, but detection can prolong the period before it reaches the final stage of kidney failure which can result in death without dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Facts About Kidney Disease
The National Kidney Foundation has compiled the following facts about kidney disease and related matters:
• One in three American adults are are currently at risk for developing kidney disease with the risk increasing to one in two over the course of a lifetime.
• One in nine American adults have kidney disease, but most are unaware of it.
• High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of kidney disease.
• Other major risk factors are having a family history of kidney disease and being age 60 or older.
• Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
• Kidney disease kills more than 90,000 Americans each year, more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
• Kidney disease has no symptoms and therefore can go undetected until very advanced.
• Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
• Those at risk should have simple blood and urine tests to check if their kidneys are working properly.
• Black Americans are three times more like to experience kidney failure.
• Hispanics are 1 1/2 times more likely to experience kidney failure.
• Every 30 minutes your kidneys filter all the blood in your body, removing waste and excess fluid.
• Of the 120,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 99,000 need a kidney. Fewer than 17,000 people receive one each year.
• Every day 14 people die waiting for a kidney.
• Most people have two kidneys, but it is possible to live with only one.
• Once the kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required.
• Approximately 430,000 Americans are on dialysis and approximately 185,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
For more information about kidney disease and related issues contact DCI at 864-429-2945.