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Support for World Kidney Day

South Shields Town Hall will be lit up red on Thursday (10 March) to mark World Kidney Day.

 The global campaign is aimed at raising awareness of kidney disease including the steps people can take to try to prevent some forms of kidney disease.

 The request to light up the Town Hall came from South Shields resident Keith Vickers who has Polycystic Kidney Disease. Keith, who has a kidney transplant, is a member of the Tyneside Kidney Patients' Association.

 The association exists to educate and raise awareness of renal failure, offer peer support and help medical staff in research and development. The group also raises money for a welfare fund for use by patients in financial need.

Keith said: "Currently, as we are ourselves patients, we are unable to visit patients on dialysis or those in hospital or at the Institute of Transplantation. This is why we are keen to illuminate as many local buildings and monuments as we can, it's a public demonstration that our patients are still here."

Many families are affected by renal disease. Some will only become aware when they become seriously ill while others have a genetic disease and will progress over many years to dialysis.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. High blood pressure causes just over a quarter of all cases of kidney failure while diabetes is the cause of around one third of all cases.  The campaigns seeks to encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and high blood pressure for Chronic Kidney Disease.

Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "World Kidney Day is about advancing kidney health education.

 "By raising awareness of kidney health, the campaign seeks to reduce the frequency of kidney disease. We are delighted to light up our beautiful Town Hall in support of this aim as well as showing our solidarity with all those affected by this condition in line with our priority of supporting vulnerable communities."

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