Walk for Kidney event on Chicago's Lakefront Trail raises awareness for disease

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds walked the Chicago Lakefront to raise awareness and funding for the fight against kidney disease.

"One in three people have risk factors for kidney disease. It's, it's a silent problem," said Dr. Tipu Puri, board president at National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. "Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease."

Dr. Puri said the money raised will benefit people in the middle of the fight and those who do not realize they are at risk.

"Just to help raise awareness and actually help diagnose and identify people with kidney disease," Dr. Tipu said.

Teams on the move started at Montrose Harbor.

"I feel the support. I feel the love," said Don Shapiro, walk beneficiary.

Shapiro is one of the patients being supported by the event. He said he is in renal failure after losing his left kidney to cancer in 2006.

"Over the last five years, the functionality of my right kidney has gone from 100% to 5%, and I am very tired," Shapiro said.

Shapiro's loved ones gave him a boost by raising $18,000. Team "Do it for Don," was the top fundraiser with his daughter, Carly Shapiro, leading the charge.

"Don't give up. Push through it. Everyone has an obstacle. Everyone has a journey that they're going to go through," said Shapiro. "Just be there for them. Keep your head up, smile, be happy."
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