Care of vital organ focus of campaign

EACH year Green Valley resident Pauline Luxon hands out pamphlets to promote Kidney Health Week. On Monday she went one step further.

The 68-year-old took to exercise equipment at Liverpool Hospital's "Kilometres 4 Kidneys" event.

At the event, hospital staff and locals "donated" a 10-minute workout and kept a treadmill, bike and strider continually going for the day to help promote healthy kidneys.

"I think Kilometres 4 Kidneys was a great idea," Ms Luxon said.

"Our kidneys are something that we really need to focus on looking after.

"And we can start just by improving our diet and exercise."

In 1994 Ms Luxon's kidney failed. She had a transplant in 1996 and 6½ years later the transplant also failed.

Since then she had been on a treatment called dialysis, that removes waste products from her blood by filtering blood through a special membrane.

"I am stable at the moment, but with dialysis one day you can be OK and then the next day you could have a severe infection," she said.

"My health has deteriorated in recent years so I can not have another kidney transplant. It is not an easy process — it can be quite an ordeal.

"Now I take each day as it comes."

South Western Sydney Local Health District director of renal services Associate Professor Angela Makris said kidney disease can go undetected for many years.

"A person can lose up to 90 per cent of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease," she said.

"One in nine Australians over the age of 25 has at least one clinical sign of chronic kidney disease, and the sad thing is that kidney-related diseases result in more Australian deaths each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer or road deaths."

Are your kidneys at risk?

Risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease include; diabetes, high blood pressure, smoker, obesity, family history, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent or if you are more than 50 years of age.

Kidney Health Australia is encouraging anyone who is at risk to get a kidney health check.



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