CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - 1 in 3. That's how many American adults are at high risk for developing kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The risk increases to 1 in 2 over the course of a lifetime.
Since he was 18, Kevin Lewis of Cedar Rapids has lived with PKD, or polycystic kidney disease. It's capable of causing complete kidney failure, but Lewis doesn't let it stop him.
"I work every day, I also work part-time," said Lewis on Sunday, who treats his with regular rounds of dialysis. "I do dialysis three nights a week after work. And you know, I get tired, but it's not the worst thing in the world."
For Lewis and so many others who gathered for the Eastern Iowa Kidney Walk this year, kidney disease can be hereditary. His PKD runs in the family, meaning his three sons have it. He traced his back to his grandmother's father, but awareness and treatments for kidney disease have come a long way since that time.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease, so it's important to ask your doctor about getting tested.
"They can tell how your kidneys are doing by just a simply blood test," Lewis explained. "Just listen to what your body's saying to you, and if it's not right, get a hold of your nurses or your doctors, and they will look into it."
Lewis said dialysis or even a transplant is sometimes inevitable, but it's possible to lead a healthy, normal life, just like he does.
"You can live with it, and you can live your whole life with it," Lewis said.