Kidney disease that affects 1.7M Australians, and in October 2021 the Kidney Community is seeking public support.
The community can do this by joining a Red Socks virtual walk on October 10 or registering your Red Socks Fitness Challenge and become a sockstar.
Other ways include buying a pair of Red Socks to wear throughout October to raise funds to fight kidney disease.
The Kidney Health Australia Red Sock Appeal kicked off on October 1 to galvanise more Australians into action to understand the impact of the disease on their lives and those close to them and raise funds for early detection activities and support services to alleviate the impact of kidney disease.
Bateau Bay resident, Susan Steele, and her three sons, Andrew, Craig and William Steele, will be walking throughout October to raise money as her husband, Arran, is on the waitlist for his second kidney transplant.
She said that Arran had his first kidney transplant 13 years ago and the new kidney supplied by Arran’s father started to fail eight years ago.
“I’ll be walking with my three sons as a family around the Bateau Bay area.
“We don’t have a fundraising target, but we’re hoping to get as much as we can and we’ll be asking everyone we know to donate.
“So far we’ve raised $400 without doing anything, and we plan on walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a week.
“Arran first got kidney disease when Craig was a baby, and his kidney started to fail.
“He got a transplant 13 years ago from his father, but that one is now starting to fail.
“Now he’s on dialysis three times a week which can take up to six hours,” Steele said.
She said that the waiting list for transplants is on average up to five years.
“Kidney disease takes over the whole family’s life, so by donating you’re working towards helping people get the care they need.
“Some of the nurses we met from the first time Arran went through kidney disease are still working there on a volunteer basis as there is just not enough money to pay their salaries.
“Any money donated will be a godsend,” Steele said.
Kidney Health Australia Chief Executive Officer, Chris Forbes, said the idea behind the Red Socks Appeal was to recognise the countless hours that people of all ages with kidney failure spent hooked to a dialysis machine to help clean their body of toxins.
“People with kidney failure can spend 60 hours or more a month hooked to a dialysis machine to keep them alive.
“Dialysis machines basically clean the blood of toxins, so it’s filtered out of the body and then returned, and this takes on average five hours at a time, three times a week.
“This process plus the long hours in the chair can leave patients feeling fatigued and quite cold, so a blanket and warm pair of socks is a must to get them through it.
“We’d love people to put themselves in the socks of someone living with kidney disease and run, ride, walk, hop, skip of dance their way through October to raise money for our courageous kidney community,” Forbes said.
Money raised from the Red Sock Appeal will fund support services such as the Kidney Helpline, Kidney Kids and Youth Program, Transplant House and the Big Red Kidney Bus.
Of the 1.7M Australians affected by kidney disease, 1.5M are unaware they are living with the early signs of the disease.
“The shocking fact about kidney disease is that a person can lose up to 90 per cent before any symptoms are apparent.
“A person could be relatively fine one day and the next they could be in hospital facing a life sentence of continuous dialysis or on a transplant list, waiting for a suitable kidney donor.
“We need to prevent people reaching this point, so the Red Sock Appeal is also a great opportunity to raise more awareness around the impact this disease has on people’s lives.
“In this age of COVID-19, we’ve made sure the event has something for everyone, if people can’t get out to raise money, they can still wear Red Socks and support us in their living rooms and on social media, this is a community event that everyone can get behind,” Forbes said.
To find out more and register for the Kidney Health Red Sock Appeal, visit redsockappeal.org.au.
Steele’s fundraiser can be found at https://www.redsockappeal.org.au/fundraisers/susansteele