RJI Kidney Awareness Foundation boosts support with dialysis center donation

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Roberta J. Ivy (RJI) Kidney Awareness Foundation, led by lifelong Oxford resident Robert Ivy, has announced a donation of $1,500 to the local dialysis center, continuing its mission to support kidney dialysis patients and their families. The foundation, established eight years ago, conducts an annual awareness walk in September to raise funds for dialysis centers and assist patients with travel expenses and lost wages due to treatment.

Ivy, a graduate of Oxford High School and a kidney transplant recipient, emphasized the personal nature of this cause, recalling his family’s experience with kidney disease. “When you receive the news that you will need dialysis, your life is turned upside down,” Ivy said. He pointed out the significant time commitment required for dialysis, often impacting patients’ ability to work.

The RJI Kidney Awareness Foundation also plans to expand its efforts to nearby areas such as Sardis, appealing to the community for donations and supplies like blankets and books to help patients stay comfortable during their treatments. Interested individuals can contact Ivy through various social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram (@RJI Kidney Awareness Foundation), TikTok (662robert) or by calling 662-388-0603.

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Kidney disease affects millions nationwide and poses a substantial health and economic challenge. In the U.S., around 37 million people suffer from this condition, with more than 807,000 living with kidney failure and more than 562,000 undergoing dialysis​​. The financial impact is considerable, with Medicare spending over $87.2 billion in 2019 on chronic kidney disease treatments​​.

Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a family history of kidney failure. The disease disproportionately affects minority populations, with higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure contributing to increased incidence among Black/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives​​.

Regular health check-ups and early detection play a critical role in managing kidney disease. Catching the condition early can reduce the need for long-term dialysis and may allow some patients to manage it with lifestyle changes​​.

The efforts of the RJI Kidney Awareness Foundation underscore the importance of community support and awareness in addressing the challenges faced by those living with kidney disease.