The #SixDegreeChallenge officially launched as part of Kidney Health Month

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The Kidney Foundation Kicks Off Kidney Health Month with the #SixDegreeChallenge,

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease.

Did you know that 1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease?  Because there are often no symptoms until kidney disease is quite advanced, many people aren’t aware that they have the disease until they’ve already lost most of their kidney function.

That’s why it’s so important to know the risk factors for kidney disease and to talk to your doctor about checking your kidney function. Some people are at higher risk of kidney disease and should have their kidney function tested by their physician or health care provider, even if they feel well.

Kidney disease describes a variety of conditions and disorders that affect the kidneys. Most kidney disease attack the filtering units of the kidneys—the nephrons—and damage their ability to eliminate wastes and excess fluids. Kidney disease can range from mild to severe and in some cases, lead to kidney failure (sometimes referred to as end-stage kidney disease).

A mom, a son, a reporter, a model are but just a few of the challengers amplifying awareness of the prevalence of kidney disease by encouraging Canadians to share their “six” in support of those affected, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is launching the annual #SixDegreeChallenge on Monday, March 1 to shine an important spotlight on kidney health and raise important funds to support Canadians living with kidney disease.

The #Six Degree Challenge is calling on all Ontarians to help reduce the high burden of kidney disease by showing their support online and challenging others to do the same. “Despite being vital organs, kidneys are all too often overlooked or ignored as part of our overall health, said Craig Kerr, President of The Kidney Foundation’s Ontario Branch. “That is, until you or someone you love is affected.”

This year’s “Six Degree Challenge” theme is “Living Well with Kidney Disease”. It encourages Ontarians to share their connection or personal journey with kidney disease. Challengers will highlight and share their connection with kidney disease on social media platforms and in the media.

Superior Media spoke with a local man, Cody McClelland, who is 100% taking up the #SixDegreeChallenge.

Six Degree Challengers from communities across the province are joining the conversation and sharing their experience with kidney disease to bring this often-invisible disease into the spotlight. Four million Canadians – that’s one in 10 – are affected by kidney disease, but whether personally connected to it or not, all Ontarians can join the #SixDegreeChallenge on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, beginning March 1.

‘Challengers’ can participate by posting a picture of themselves throwing up “the six” (holding up six fingers), sharing their connection to kidney disease and tagging six friends in the caption, nominating them to do the same. In addition to creating a buzz online, Canadians are also encouraged to make a donation to support The Foundation’s programs and services to help empower patients to live their best life.

On World Kidney Day, March 11, the Foundation will host a 24-hour day of giving. Donations can be made online at the SixDegreeChallenge website or by calling 1-800-387-4474.

A Virtual Educational Forum is being held from March 9-11 and registration is absolutely free.

This event, ‘Living Your Best Life with Kidney Disease’ is being held over three days, starting Tuesday, March 9 and concluding on World Kidney Day, Thursday March 11. The program has been developed in partnership with people living with kidney disease and it will bring together patients, care partners, healthcare professionals and researchers all over Canada who will share information to help you live your best life with kidney disease.

A person can take a quiz ‘Are You at Risk’ ~ it will take about 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions. The answers will help you know if you should talk to your doctor about having your kidney function checked.

Another way Canadians can understand this vital organ and its importance to overall health is by using The Kidney Foundation’s risk awareness tool. By simply answering a few questions about lifestyle, health and related factors using the interactive tool, people get information that may help them spark discussion with their health care team about maintaining kidney health.

Garnering support from notable Canadians,the #SixDegreeChallenge aims to keep the momentum going and continue raising awareness and funds across Ontario in 2021. All funds raised will provide programming and services for Canadians affected by kidney disease and fund kidney research to improve treatments and ultimately discover a cure.

Excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life, and a cure for kidney disease – for over 50 years, this vision has guided The Kidney Foundation of Canada to be a collaborative, inventive and focused leader in the development of programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease.

The Foundation’s national research program has grown to become one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is also committed to providing education, information and support about kidney health, kidney disease and kidney transplants. For more information, follow The Kidney Foundation on Twitter, @kidneycanada and visit The Kidney Foundation’s website.