CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- World Kidney Day is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. Across the U.S., hundreds of events took place to educate people about preventive behaviors, risk factors, research, and clinical trials about kidney disease Thursday.
Levine Children's Hospital honored World Kidney Day with a "pie throwing" event in which pediatric kidney patients took aim at their nurses and doctors to have a little fun, and learn about the latest research and clinical trials happening locally that benefit patients.
"Number one, it's lot of fun. It gives the kids a chance to pay us back a little bit and also gives us the opportunity to let people know the impact of chronic kidney disease." said Dr. Susan Massengill, with the Pediatric Kidney Center of Excellence. "The families are amazing. That's what keeps you going. The fact that they get to do this today is amazing."
Dozens of pies were thrown and the families said the mess means a lot.
"This is awesome." said Laura Eckert, mother of Jadyn, 11, who has battled kidney disease since she was young. "My daughter got sick at a year and a half, lost kidney functions. We had a transplant at three. I'm just excited to see all these people here supporting her."
Also taking part were Emily Snapp, and her daughter Erin.
"A little over 200 we have now reached." said Emily, holding a kidney-pillow kit that Erin passes out to other children going through rough times to provide comfort. The kids can create their own designs and faces to each pillow making them unique and fun. "Yeah, it seems like it makes them happy and that makes us happy."
Kidney disease can often go unnoticed in children. Dr. Massengill says roughly 30 million adults in the U.S. suffer kidney disease.
It is unknown right now how many children need treatment and that's part of the reason for the day of awareness.