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Posey to Help Kick-Off Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk
Hundreds to Celebrate the Gift of Life with Saturday Tribute for Transplant Patients

Melbourne, FL, April 26, 2013 - Congressman Bill Posey will help kick-off next weekend’s 5K Kidney Beach Walk sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Florida as a tribute to organ donation.
The walk will take place at 9:00 AM on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 at the Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach Florida. The day’s activities will begin with a Zumba class on the beach for a warm-up, followed by the 5K “Footprints in the Sand” non-competitive kidney walk and will conclude with a “Sand Castles of Hope” contest.

L-R: Bill Hahn, Kidney Walk Organizer; Congressman Bill Posey, and Kidney Advocate Richard Salick at the 2012 Kidney Walk. Photo by Bill Hahn.

“It’s an honor to again take part in the kidney walk,” said Congressman Bill Posey who is a member of the Congressional Kidney Caucus. “One of the many challenges that organ transplant recipients face is the high cost of immunosuppressive medications which help the body adjust to new donor organs. Currently, Medicare covers the cost of kidney transplant surgeries but only temporarily covers the cost of the medications which are needed to prevent rejection. After three years, coverage is cancelled. That just defies common sense, and I’ve cosponsored legislation to fix this problem (H.R. 1428), which will ultimately save lives and Medicare resources.”

“The Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk on May 4 is helping fund NKF's initiatives in awareness, prevention and treatment as we lead the fight against kidney disease,” said Stephanie Hutchinson, Director of the National Kidney Foundation of Florida. “With the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure - two major risk factors - chronic kidney disease is rising as well. The NKF is working to reach the 1 in 3 American adults at risk with important prevention messages before it's too late. Your participation in this event has never been more critical.”

“The Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk is an inspirational and spiritual event honoring organ donors and their families; and raises funds for the National Kidney Foundation of Florida. These funds go to education, financial aid, and outreach events to create awareness. There are currently 117,000 people waiting for the Gift of Life of which 19 die every day. Many of those who walk and support this event are donors, donor families and recipients,” said Bill Hahn, who’s organizing the kidney walk. “This is a pledge walk, and donations can be made through our website. Come out and walk the walk, make your mark and save a life.”

“The Florida Hospital Transplant Institute has been performing kidney transplants for 40 years and has seen firsthand the incredible support offered to both kidney patients and our transplant staff by the National Kidney Foundation,” said Kristin Jimenez of the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute. “Patients with kidney disease often face challenging medical, social and financial hardships. The National Kidney Foundation provides resources for these patients as well as educational opportunities for medical caregivers. We are pleased to support the National Kidney Foundation’s efforts, including the Cocoa Beach Footprints Kidney Walk.

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