UC Irvine Healthcare is proud to join the National Kidney Foundation in sponsoring the inaugural Orange County Kidney Walk on Saturday, June 19, at the Irvine campus.

More than two dozen teams – families, individuals and organizations like UCI – will raise funds for the National Kidney Foundation office serving Southern California and southern Nevada. For every dollar donated, 81 cents goes directly to services supporting patients and their families.

“More than 2.6 million people suffer from kidney disease in Southern California, and many reside in Orange County and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Clarence E. Foster III, chief of transplant surgery at UC Irvine Medical Center. “The Kidney Walk will increase awareness and funding for the National Kidney Foundation’s programs.”

Foster and Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of UCI’s School of Medicine, are the walk’s honorary chairmen.

“The local National Kidney Foundation office is thrilled to host the first Orange County Kidney Walk with UC Irvine Healthcare,” said Stephanie Twerdahl, the organization’s division development director. “The Kidney Walk provides an opportunity for dialysis patients, kidney donors, donor recipients, donor families, medical professionals and the public at large to celebrate life and foster lasting community support for the foundation’s mission.”

Proceeds from Saturday’s walk and similar events finance kidney disease detection and prevention efforts, public and professional education symposiums, youth summer camps, research and patient advocacy.

The National Kidney Foundation will use funds from the Orange County walk to host a free screening July 24 at UCI for high-risk individuals – those with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease, which affects 26 million Americans.

Once kidneys fail, patients need dialysis or a transplant to survive. More than 100,000 people across the nation are waiting for a kidney transplant. Foster heads UC Irvine’s program, which performs about 50 such procedures a year and specializes in transplanting organs from living donors through minimally invasive surgery.

The Orange County Kidney Walk begins at 9:30 a.m., with check-in at 8 a.m. For more information, visit the National Kidney Foundation’s event website or call 800-747-5527.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.9 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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