700+ walk for kidney research in Wilmington (video)

Hundreds of walkers took a stroll along the Wilmington Riverfront this weekend to raise awareness about kidney disease.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning for the 8th annual kidney walk in Wilmington. Organizers said more than 700 walkers raised more than $72,000 to fund life saving programs to educate and support patients.

“A lot of our walkers are dialysis patients, either organ donors or organ transplant recipients,” said Loren Yakopcic with the National Kidney Foundation. “A lot of people are just here for a great cause and to support one another.”

One of those kidney transplant recipients is Derek Payne, who served as MC for the walk. “My life has changed tremendously since getting a kidney after nine years of suffering with dialysis,” Payne said.

He now urges everyone to sign up to become an organ donor during their next visit to the DMV. “It just takes a quick little adjustment. They run it through the computer and then you too will be a participant and a donor. Saving a life is so important, I mean, it’s unbelievable. Words just can’t describe how important it is.”

The Wilmington walk was one of nearly 100 similar events taking place around the country, with a goal of having 100,000 walking to support the cause.

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