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Congressman to help kick-off annual Cocoa Beach Kidney Walk

MELBOURNE – Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) will help kick-off the 8th Annual Cocoa Beach “Footprints in the Sand” Kidney Walk on Saturday, May 11 at the Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach.

“It’s an honor to once again join with so many others in our community to take part in this year’s kidney walk,” said Congressman Posey, who is a member of the Congressional Kidney Caucus. “So many of us have family, friends, and loved ones who are afflicted by kidney disease and they need our strength and support. The road ahead is not easy for them, but as the kidney walk demonstrates, they do not have to travel that path alone.”

This year’s walk will honor longtime patient advocate and Kidney Walk co-founder Bill Hahn, who passed away late last year, as well as National Kidney Foundation of Florida volunteer Donna Avery.

“This year’s Kidney Walk is especially important as we honor and recognize Billy Hahn who co-founded the Walk with my twin brother and three time kidney transplant recipient, Rich Salick, in 2012,” said Phil Salick, operations manager for the National Kidney Foundation of Florida and living kidney donor. “Billy was also on our surf team growing up and as a kidney/pancreas recipient; his mission was to always spread awareness about kidney disease and transplantation. He has done so much for the NKFF, raising over $350,000 since the walks inception in 2012.”

The walk will begin at the Westgate of Cocoa Beach Pier. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. with patient stories and awards shared. Prior to registration there will be a memorial paddle-out to honor Bill Hahn and Donna Avery.

“There are currently over 5,000 patients waiting for a kidney transplant in the state of Florida alone and many of these patients will die before ever receiving that life-saving transplant. With an increase in diabetes and high blood pressure among the population, spreading awareness has never been more important for the one in three Americans who are at risk for developing kidney diseases. The Kidney Walk is an important part of our mission because it allows us to educate the population on risk factors of developing kidney disease before it’s too late. The funds raised at this event are used for critical programs such as Direct Patient Aid and free kidney screenings that we offer throughout the state,” said Savanna Lanza, NKFF CEO.

Following the Kidney Walk, a Sandcastles of Hope contest for children will take place on the beach. In addition, Translife will host a Donor Moms brunch for all families who have lost their children and became organ donors, saving many lives.