The Ottumwa Courier

September 27, 2013

A kidney connection brings community together

Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — Jami Kaelin had a kidney transplant 12 years ago. Jamie Scott found out she had kidney disease while trying to become a kidney donor. Kristin Wilson had a transplant two years ago. The three have now come together to support the National Kidney Foundation.

“Kristin and I found out we had a common connection when she was featured in a Community 1st Credit Union employee newsletter,” said Kaelin. “We got together and realized we had a common goal of creating a local walk for charity.”

In 2012, the duo organized the inaugural Southeast Iowa Kidney walk and surpassed their goal of raising $5,000 for NKF. They first met Scott at this event.

“Jamie shared her story with us and expressed her interest in helping with the next walk,” Wilson said. “We are so glad to have her help with organizing the 2013 Kidney Walk.”

The Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk has had an outpouring of support from local businesses, including Community 1st Credit Union, Walgreens, Papa John’s and Casey’s General Stores.

“These companies have worked hard to put walk teams together and had much success with raising funds for the NKF,” said Scott. “Walgreens and Papa John’s teamed up for a Family Fun Day in September and raised over $1,300 for our walk.”

The walk organizers, along with family, friends and community members, will take part in the Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk held at the Jimmy Jones Pavilion on Oct. 12. Kids’ activities and several raffle baskets are just some of the fun activities going on at the walk.

The Kidney Walk is the nation's largest walk to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, the event raises awareness and funds lifesaving programs that educate and support patients, their families and those at risk.

Registration for the Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk begins at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. Teams and individual walkers of all ages are invited to participate and fundraise to fight kidney disease. The Kidney Walk is a free, non-competitive event.

To register, visit or go to our Facebook page at for more information.

Quick Kidney Facts: One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease. One in nine American adults has kidney disease -- and most don't know it. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of kidney disease. Kidney disease kills over 90,000 Americans every year -- more than breast and prostate cancer combined. In Iowa alone, more than 5,000 patients are being treated for kidney failure, and more than 450 patients are awaiting lifesaving kidney transplants. Anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure and anyone over the age of 60 is at risk for kidney disease.