Five Qs: Jason Hall on Combating Kidney Disease

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The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan will host its 10th Annual Kidney Ball at the MGM Grand Detroit on Dec. 6. Jason Hall, the event chair and national sales director of Detroit-based Title Source, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about what guests can expect and what the fundraiser supports.

1. DDN: Tell us about the upcoming event.

JH: It’s a good time mixed with a nice level of awareness to what the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is doing, who they’re working with, how there’s an ability to help, and how that help can be given immediately. They’re not looking for the breakthrough drug of the year. They’re looking to change lifestyles.

2. DDN: Tell us more about kidney disease. What needs to be done to help?

JH: Over 70 percent of the people who have kidney disease suffer, because they have either obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure. And these aren’t things you need a miracle drug (to treat). If we can educate people about that, we can reduce the number of people who have to go through a lifelong dialysis, or wait for a kidney transplant. Most people who have kidney disease don’t even know it. They don’t know what the symptoms are, because it’s not something that gets talked about. It’s not the highline illness of Americana today. It’s something that goes unnoticed by most until they’re to the point that they need to be on dialysis and on a transplant list.

3. DDN: How many people are affected by kidney disease?

JH: A lot. In the state of Michigan, 900,000 adults, age 20-plus, have chronic kidney disease. Across America, 26 million adults have it. It’s important that we help these people, because realistically, kidneys are something that often unnoticed. They’re not your heart and they’re not your lungs, but they’re just as important. Without your kidneys working right, you’re in a lot of trouble.

4. DDN: How does your organization help?

JH: One of my favorites is Kids Camp (hosted by YMCA Camp Copneconic in Fenton), where they send kids who have kidney disease to camp.  One reason why it’s complicated for these kids to go to camp normally is, because they need dialysis two to four times a week. And you can’t just show up to a regular camp, leave to do your three hours of dialysis, and then come back to camp later in the day. So what Kids Camp does is bring the nurses, the doctors, and the dialysis on-site at the camp. The campers are being monitored throughout the day, and the kids can enjoy a week of not being “the kid with kidney disease.” They get to just be a kid.

5. DDN: Where do donations go from the event?

JH: Yes. What’s great about the Kidney Foundation is what a high percentage of the actual dollars (donated) actually go to the people who need it. Right around 90 percent of all of the dollars that come in make it to the actual people who need the funding, who need the programs, and need the assistance. The organization is actually recognized by Charity Navigator, which rates charities across the country, as being in the top 5 percent of charities as far as fiscal responsibility is concerned. You know that when you give to the National Kidney Foundation, (your money) is going to the people who need it as well as the prevention of the disease.

For more information or to purchase tickets, priced at $250 per guest, visit nkfm.org/events or call 800-482-1455.

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