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Posey to Help Kick-Off 3rd Annual Cocoa Beach “Foot Prints in the Sand” Kidney Walk May 10th

Washington, May 1, 2014 - COCOA BEACH, FL – Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) will kick-off the 3rd Annual Cocoa Beach “Foot Prints in the Sand” Kidney Beach Walk presented by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Florida as a tribute to organ donation. The walk will take place at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at the Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach Florida. The day’s activities will begin with a “Circle of Life” paddle- out, followed by a Zumba class on the beach to warm-up for the 5K “Footprints in the Sand” non-competitive kidney walk. The day’s events will conclude with a “Sand Castles of Hope” contest for kids of all ages.

Participants in the first Foot Prints in the Sand Kidney Walk from left to right: Koa Cuyno, Amy Saperstien, Congressman Posey, Shoretip Cuyno, Patrick Cuyno, Stephanie Hutchison, Richard Salick. Front: Bill Hahn

“It’s an honor to again take part in this year’s 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 to 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 National Kidney Foundation of Florida currently puts on 7 walks across the state of Florida. The Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk is our only beach walk. It gives us an opportunity to educate people on the importance of organ donation and to thank any living donors and their families,” said Savanna Pitard, Regional Development Manager for the National Kidney Foundation. “Every month the National Kidney Foundation gives away $14,000 through our direct aid program to those who are having a hard time paying bills, affording transportation to take them to dialysis, or buying groceries. The Kidney Foundation is also able to put on free kidney screenings for at risk individuals with the money raised at the walks. This year I am helping to coordinate the Third Annual Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk as well as walking in memory of a long time friend, Rich Salick.”

“The Cocoa Beach ‘Foot Prints in the Sand’ kidney walk is a revival for the many of us who have been given a second chance,” said Bill Hahn, Walk Chairman and kidney transplant recipient. “It’s a special event that brings together friends living in our community with organ donors and recipients to meet on the beach to share stories about the gift of life. I hope folks will join us to walk the walk, make your mark, and save a life.”

“This year will be my third year walking and fundraising for The NKF ‘Footprints in the Sand’ kidney walk,” said Jenny Wolverton of Cocoa Beach. “I walk in memory of my mother, who died over 20 years ago from complications arising from her kidney transplant and all my other family members who have been diagnosed with this disease, including my sister and myself. It’s a wonderful day spent on the beach with family and friends all there to do a little good, raise community awareness and support each other.”

To learn more about kidney disease and what you can do to help, please visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website www.kidney.org.

A tribute video for this year’s “Footprints in the Sand” kidney walk can be found HERE.

“In my blindness I found His heavenly vision. In my diabetes I found the order of His discipline. In my coma I found His guiding white light. In my seizures I found the hand of His peaceful touch. In my dialysis I found His patience in my fortitude. In my last breath I found the loss of my pride. In my Gift of Life I found the beauty of His grace.” – Bill Hahn, Walk Chairman

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