During the month of March, Unyts celebrates National Kidney Month to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease including prevention and treatment. Most people have two kidneys that work hard 24/7 to filter blood, remove waste and extra fluid, help control blood pressure, and much more.

Unfortunately, many people will not have symptoms in the early stages of kidney disease, so people might not know they are sick until they start experiencing kidney failure (end stage renal disease). If you have diabetes and hypertension (high-blood pressure) it’s important to know that these are the leading causes of kidney failure in New York State and you should talk with your doctor about your kidney health.

The Kidney Foundation of WNY provides a variety of programs and services to patients and their families in the 8 counties of WNY who are suffering from kidney disease and other related diseases. They are holding events throughout the month of March including free kidney screening events!

March Screening Events:

  • Saturday, March 9th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Henry E. Wrobel Towers, 800 Niagara Ave., Niagara Falls, NY 14305
  • Friday, March 22nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Amherst Center for Senior Services, 370 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst, NY 14222

To register for a screening, contact Barbara Breckenridge at 716-510-6702 or bbreckenridge@kfwny.org.

While there is no cure for kidney disease or kidney failure, you can be placed on the waiting list for a new kidney. Kidney transplants are used to treat kidney failure where a new healthy kidney is donated to the recipient whose kidney is no longer functioning properly. ECMC's Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care performed 144 transplants in 2018. There are still 7,840 people in New York State waiting for a kidney transplant.

There are a few types of living donation options including direct donation, non-directed/altruistic donation, and paired donation. There is also deceased donation where the donor was a registered organ donor.

One amazing story of living donation is Jean Grosso of Williamsville who was approved to donate her healthy kidney and within 45-minutes was matched! It’s no wonder because there are over 94,000 people on the waiting list for a new kidney in the United States. Jean not only donated her own kidney but she also learned that her donation started a chain reaction and will save 5 lives.

If you aren’t already registered to be an organ donor, now is the time to do so. You could one day give the Gift of Life to someone in need. Or you could be a living donor! Register today: www.unyts.org/checkyes