This October, Kidney Health Australia is calling on all Aussies to outpace kidney disease by pounding the pavement and raising vital funds and awareness as part of this year’s Red Socks Run.
Having gone through a major health scare as a child, much-loved Australian actress Michala Banas knows all too well the importance of kidney health.
“The next time you’re at a doctor’s appointment just ask them to check your kidney function with a simple test. That kind of stuff can really save you down the line because once it’s too late, it’s really too late.” Ms Banas says.
Around 2 million adult Australians are living with chronic kidney disease, but 1.8 million remain unaware they have the condition. That’s because people can lose 90% of their kidney function without experiencing symptoms. The invisible nature of the disease means that early diagnosis is vital.
Kidney Health Australia CEO, Chris Forbes, said kidney disease had a massive impact on those affected, with many people plugged into a life-depending dialysis machine an average of 60 hours per month just to stay alive.
“The Red Socks Run 60km challenge is a way of stepping into the shoes, or socks, of someone sitting in a dialysis chair for 60 hours a week and helps shine a stronger light on one of Australia’s least known chronic conditions,” Mr Forbes says.
“The leap from unknown kidney disease to kidney failure is often so sudden that people don’t have time to deal with their diagnosis before their lives are turned upside down and they become totally dependent on an external machine that keeps them alive. One day you’re fine and the next day facing a life sentence.
“People on dialysis remain largely invisible – they don’t look any different on the outside so the condition is less talked about. Yet, for the Aussies dealing with this and their families, it is life-changing, robbing them of their time and freedom.” Mr Forbes says.
This year’s Red Socks Run is more than just a fun physical challenge – it’s a powerful statement of solidarity and determination, as Kidney Health Australia rallies participants to register and donate to the cause.
People can either run, walk or ride 60km or create a team of friends or colleagues to inspire one another. Either way, they’ll be supporting the life of someone living with this debilitating and deadly disease.
The 60km challenge is inspired by the courageous people living with kidney failure who require life-saving dialysis.
“During dialysis treatment, people’s bodies get extremely cold, especially their feet. This is why we are asking people to buy the special Red Socks in their honour and get involved in the Red Socks Run.
“Kidney disease seems to be the least known of all chronic conditions. People don’t realise just how vital their kidneys are. I’m urging all Australians to raise awareness of kidney disease, buy some socks and help us raise funds for this lesser-known condition.” Mr Forbes says.
On average, 66 Australians will die every day with kidney disease, for which there is no cure.
Turn your good health into the support that can save a life by signing up to the Red Sock Socks Run and buying a pair of limited-edition Red Socks to wear proudly throughout October.