AUSTIN, Texas - The rainy weather didn’t stop Central Texans from joining together Sunday in the fight against kidney disease. Hundreds turned out for the 2023 Austin Kidney Walk at The Pitch in northeast Austin.
"Some of them are coming with some really deep concerns, but they're coming, and they're letting that go to enjoy the walk. So that's exciting," said Calvin Lyons, executive director of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Texas.
The walk benefits the National Kidney Foundation, which supports people battling kidney disease, as well as prevention.
"You’re talking to a guy who lost his grandmother and his aunt to kidney disease," said Lyons. "So now getting that opportunity to educate people on how to take better care of their bodies."
The walk was once again emceed by FOX 7 Austin anchor Rebecca Thomas, herself a kidney donor.
"In late 2014, doctors told my mom she needed a kidney transplant," said Thomas.
Thomas was a match, and eight years after the surgery: "We are both still healthy. She runs circles around me. It's amazing."
This year’s walk was full of so many success stories, like Kathy Robinson of Austin and her son Anthony.
"When we found out that he was the match, it was like, ‘okay, let's do this’, you know? And I talked him to see if he was sure," said Kathy Robinson.
"There was no hesitation that I would be definitely be donating a kidney to my mother. So it was a great feeling," said Anthony Robinson.
Nearly five years later, they’re both doing well, and spreading the word to others.
"That's something that I'm really, really looking forward to doing is just kind of getting out and speaking to more people about it," said Kathy Robinson.
"If you're wanting to do it or thinking about doing it, I would say please go ahead and do it," said Anthony Robinson.
With more than 90,000 Americans waiting for a kidney, organizers hope to improve those numbers step by step.
"If we can keep someone from getting chronic kidney disease, we've won. If we can help someone who needs a transplant get it sooner, we've won," Lyons said. "And we like to win."
If you weren’t able to make it to Sunday’s walk, you can still help by walking on your own, or donating to the cause. Learn more here.