WITH Kidney Health Australia’s inaugural Big Red Walk this Sunday people are encouraged to take care of their kidneys and be aware of the importance of having healthy organs.
The walk is designed to raise awareness of kidney disease which is under-diagnosed in Australia with 1.3million Australians living with the disease without even knowing it.
There are no warning signs for the disease which means a person can lose up to 90 per cent of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.
According to Kidney Health Australia “many people are unfortunately diagnosed late, killing more Australians each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer or road deaths”.
There are several forms of kidney disease, including tumour development.
Local men Don Hutchinson and Terry Walker each developed a tumour on one of their kidneys with both having to have the affected one removed.
Eighty-two-year-old Mr Hutchinson had his left kidney removed in June, describing his diognosis as “out of the blue”.
Seventy-year-old Lakelands resident Mr Walker had his right kidney removed in May and also had no symptoms until he collapsed.
Mr Walker only became aware of his condition when he broke his ribs and jaw in a fall and a subsequent scan revealed the tumour.
Both men were recipients of a new keyhole surgery technique offered at the Peel Health Campus (PHC) which is much less painful and less invasive than previous procedures.
Mr Walker was the third patient at PHC to have the new surgery and was out of hospital in three days instead of the usual three-week recovery period.
Both men praised surgeon Dr Ding Guo for performing their procedures and said their post-operation pain relief was better than usual surgeries.
Both men are back to their pre-operation health with just a seven to eight centimetre scar the only evidence of their ordeals.
The Big Red Walk is this Sunday at Sir James Mitchell Park with walkers meeting near the Hurlingham Road carpark at 9am.
There is a 2.5km walk and a 5km walk/run offered followed by a barbecue.
For more information and to register go to bigredwalk.org.au