Free screenings at Phila. Kidney Action Day

May 15, 2013 8:59:26 AM PDT
Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of kidney disease in the nation. Tomorrow, May 3rd, they'll try to change that.

From 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., the Philadelphia Health Department and the Kidney Fund will offer free screenings for the city's first Kidney Action Day at the Municipal Services Building.

Having diabetes or high blood pressure raise your risk. So does being African-American, Asian-American, or Hispanic.

Theresa Ditro ignored key warning signs of kidney failure until it was almost too late.

"My legs were swollen, I was very fatigued. I always felt tired," she says.

She adds, "Then I became short of breath. And I said - oh, i'm just anxious. And if just went - pfft, and passed it off."

One day, Theresa became very sick, and needed hospitalization. when she was admitted, she was told she was perhaps a day or two from dying of kidney failure.

She was on dialysis for a year and a half before getting a kidney transplant.

Theresa says many people think that life after a transplant is carefree.

"I take 23 medications a day," she notes. "And because some suppress my immune system, I catch everything that comes along."

Theresa says if she knew the toll kidney disease can take, she'd have been more careful with her health - and she would have come out for a screening at Kidney Action Day.