Vol. 4, No. 2                                                                                                March 3, 2011
In This Issue
March is National Kidney Month
Creatinine and GFR: Know Your Numbers
Local Three-Time Kidney Transplant Patient Debuts 'Moonface'
Tickets Now Available for Santé: Spoil Your Palate
Register to Participate in Kidney Walk 2011
Learn More About KEYS (Kidneys: Evaluate Yours): Free Kidney Screenings in Our Region
Executive Director Raquel McGuire Retires After 25 Years of Service to NKF-MD as New CEO Takes Over
Rappel for Kidney Health Moves To New Destination
Two New Part-Time Employees Join NKF-MD Staff
Donate Your Used Car
Community Leaders Collaborate with NKF-MD to Spur Grassroot Effort
Save The Date!
Remember Our Patients During National Kidney Month
Upcoming Events in 2011
An Inspiration to Give
March is National Kidney Month 


This edition is dedicated to kidney health awareness to commemorate National Kidney Month and also World Kidney Day, Thursday, March 10th. 

Since kidney disease is often silent without any symptoms, it can sneak up on you, especially those who are not aware of the major risk factors. 


This issue highlights the most important steps you can take to ensure that you do not become the one person out of every nine Americans who has kidney disease, who most likely does not realize it.  It is also geared towards several NKF-MD events, which are lined up to further enhance public awareness of kidney disease and benefit our kidney patients.

Creatinine and GFR: Know Your Numbers


Your creatinine and GFR (glomerular filtration rate) levels can indicate kidney disease in its earliest stages.  If creatinine, a waste product normally excreted in urine, is found in your blood at increasing levels, you are at risk.  Your GFR is important because it depicts the percent at which your kidneys are functioning. 


Kidney disease occurs when high levels of blood sugar damage delicate blood vessels of the kidney.  Left untreated, it leads to dialysis, transplant or death.  We suggest determining if you are at risk this month, National Kidney Month, by having a simple blood test.  Click here to learn more about what your numbers mean. 

Local Three-Time Kidney Transplant Patient Debuts 'Moonface'

Angela Balcita signing
Angela Balcita signing copies of 'Moonface' at Johns Hopkins University Barnes & Noble, February 9th, 2011.

As part of our National Kidney Month celebration, we will present a special book-signing event.


Angela Balcita, a Baltimore resident whose work has appeared in the New York Times, will sign copies of her new book, Moonface: A True Romance, Sunday, March 27th, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Baltimore's largest independent bookstore, Greetings & Readings in Hunt Valley Towne Centre.


Garnering rave reviews, Moonface is an upbeat memoir about Balcita's triumph over kidney disease. She underwent three transplants: receiving a kidney first from her brother, then from her boyfriend who is now her husband, and finally from a friend.


More than a memoir about living with a chronic disease, the book addresses learning to accept the sacrifices family and friends make on your behalf and the extraordinary relationships that follow.

Greetings & Readings will donate a portion of the proceeds from the day's Moonface sales to NKF-MD.

Tickets Now Available for Santé: Spoil Your Palate


steAs Baltimore's premier food and beverage pairing event, Santé: Spoil Your Palate, presented by the Charles T. Bauer Foundation, will bring together Baltimore's best cuisine, prepared by some of its most acclaimed chefs. 


Guests will enjoy wonderful music, interactive presentations and the finest craft beer, wine and spirits available, while having the opportunity to bid on fabulous items in the silent auction. 


For more information and to order tickets, click here.


Register to Participate in Kidney Walk 2011 Today  



2010 Delaware Kidney Walk 

Kidney Walk is a fun, inspiring community fundraiser, which call attention to the prevention of kidney disease and the need for organ donation.  Each Walk is 1.5 to 3 miles in length and will feature refreshments, entertainment and activities for the whole family.


Funds raised through each of our five Kidney Walks will directly support our patient services, education and research efforts. 


The Kidney Walk events are locally presented by the Charles T. Bauer Foundation.  Top sponsors include: American Access Care, Brown Advisory, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fresenius, Genentech, Satellite WellBound and Walgreens.


There is no registration fee except for the Baltimore Walk (where participants must raise a minimum of $10 to cover Zoo admission).  The minimum required amount to receive a Kidney Walk T-Shirt is $100.  Click here for links to each of the five Walk websites.  

Learn More About KEYS (Kidneys: Evaluate Yours): Free Kidney Screenings in Our Region


las amigas
Las Amigas: A Dedicated Group of local World Kidney Day Volunteers at KEY Screening. 

The National Kidney Foundation of Maryland offers free health screenings for the early detection and intervention of kidney problems through its KEY (Kidneys: Evaluate Yours) program.

KEY screenings are designed to identify early markers for high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease.  With the assistance of Quest technicians, area nurses and other volunteers, a brief medical history is taken.  Height, weight and blood pressure are measured.  A small blood sample is drawn to test glucose and creatinine levels. This is not a fasting blood test.  There is always a doctor on site to answer questions and to distribute kidney health informational pamphlets.

The results of the screening are mailed directly to the participants' homes after being reviewed by the supervising physician.  Last year, NKF-MD screened 612 people, 170 of whom were determined to have significant results consisting of elevated blood pressure, glucose and creatinine levels.  They were advised to follow-up with their primary care physicians.  Eleven screenings throughout our service area are scheduled to date.  Pre-registration is not necessary and anyone over 18-years of age can participate.

Click here for a complete listing of KEYS for 2011.

Executive Director Raquel McGuire Retires After 25 Years of Service to NKF-MD as new CEO Takes Over


Raquel retirement picture
NKF-MD president Wanda Lessner (left) hands award to Raquel McGuire (right).

Raquel McGuire was recently honored by a packed room of Board members, staff, volunteers, kidney patients, family and friends at the Red Star Bar and Grill in downtown Baltimore.  She will be greatly missed by the entire NKF-MD community.



Cassie Shafer, the new CEO/Executive Director, comes with over 20 years of experience between the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.  She  has significant experience in board development , volunteer recruitment,  and executing community educational programs.  With a proven track record in fund-raising, Cassie plans to ramp up development efforts exponentially for the foundation.  Cassie and her husband moved to the Baltimore area from southern California.

Rappel for Kidney Health Moves to New Destination


Rappel logo 2011

Do you want to make an impact on kidney disease in an extraordinary way? How much more extreme can you get than to Rappel for Kidney Health?  Join the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland on Saturday, June 18th for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rappel down the Canton Crossing Tower, 1501 South Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224. 


This opportunity is available to anyone wanting to give back and get a rush of adrenaline. Participants will undergo a training session on event day, receive their own fundraising Web page, and get photographed while rappelling.  Proceeds will benefit NKF-MD's patient services, education and research efforts.


Sign up here or call 410-494-8545.

Two New Part-Time Employees Join NKF-MD Staff 


Two new part-time employees joined our staff this week, courtesy of a grant from the Charles T. Bauer Foundation.   Ann Price, a registered nurse with a Master's in Public Health from Hopkins, has joined the staff as the Outreach & Training Assistant.  She brings a wealth of state service experience to her new job of spreading health awareness and training volunteers and advocates.
Kristina Lederer joined the staff as the development assistant and will be supporting the development efforts and contributing to all aspects of fundraising events.  She received her MA in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University and her BS in Sociology from Towson University, and has been a volunteer with the Foundation for three years.

Donate Your Used Car



Do you have a vehicle you no longer need or don't want to spend any more money on repairs?  You supply your vehicle's title and basic information, and we do the rest.  To donate your car, van or truck, visit our website at www.kidneymd.org.  


Donating is easy, towing is free and you will receive a tax deduction!  The Kidney Car Program raises money for patient services, renal research and community education. For more information, contact Ronnie Boursalian at 443-322-0372 or [email protected]. 

Community Leaders Collaborate with NKF-MD to Spur Grassroot Effort to Promote Kidney Health

Members of our Patient Advocacy & Services Committee met with several Baltimore pastors and members of their congregations to reflect on the health problems affecting their communities and to discuss a partnership to improve health.


The Reverend Terry McCullum, Sr. of Timothy Baptist Church, Reverend James Mullen of Kedesh House of Prayer Christian Church and Bishop-Elect Derrick Truesdale of Redemption Center Church are enthusiastic supporters of the KEY kidney disease screenings offered by NKF-MD.  They are committed to working with us to develop additional programs to raise awareness of kidney disease and improve the health of the community. 


Ideas regarding nutrition, promotion of essential health tests and ways to best use community leaders to offer basic health talks are currently being developed by the group to benefit the community at large.

Save The Date!


Liberty Mutual Invitational golf tournament

Tuesday, September, 13, 2011

Bulle Rock




Remember Our Patients During National Kidney Month
Many thanks to all who have made a gift to NKF-MD in recognition of National Kidney Month.  All gifts change and save lives here in our communities.  Won't you join with the others today in making a contribution in commemoration of National Kidney Month?
Please click here to make an online gift.  Thank you for your consideration.
Upcoming events in 2011

Saturday, March 5th: Key Screening, Union Baptist Church, Easton, MD

Saturday, March 12th: Key Screening, Hope Alive Ministry, Baltimore, MD

Saturday, April 2nd: Santé: Spoil Your Palate, B & O Railroad Museum, Baltimore, MD

Saturday, April 9th: Key Screening, Eastport Community Center, Annapolis, MD

Sunday, April 10th: Kidney Walk, Killens Pond State Park, Felton, DE

Sunday, May 1st: Kidney Walk, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

Sunday, May 1st: Kidney Walk, Winterplace Park, Salisbury, MD

Sunday, May 15th: Kidney Walk, Greenbrier State Park, Boonsboro, MD

Sunday, June 5th: Kidney Walk, Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, MD

Saturday, June 18th: Rappel for Kidney Health, Baltimore, MD

An Inspiration to Give


 "The hand that gives, gathers." 

-- English Proverb