Red socks for kidney awareness

Don your red socks for a good cause this month! Picture: TIM FOSTER, UNSPLASH

Aussies are being asked to step out in Red Socks in October, either on their own or with friends, and support those living with the daily challenges of debilitating and deadly kidney disease.

The Kidney Health Australia Red Socks Appeal kicks off on Friday 1 October to galvanise more Australians into action to understand the impact of kidney disease on their lives and those close to them, and raise vital funds for early detection activities and support services to alleviate the impact and harm kidney disease causes.

Kidney Health Australia chief executive officer, Chris Forbes, said the idea behind the Red Socks Appeal is to recognise the countless hours that people of all ages with kidney failure spend hooked to a life-saving dialysis machine to help clean their body of toxins.

“A little-known fact about kidney disease is that people with kidney failure can spend 60 hours or more a month hooked to a dialysis machine to keep them alive,” Mr Forbes said.

“Dialysis machines basically clean the blood of toxins so it’s filtered out of the body and then returned, and this takes on average five hours at a time, three times a week.

“This process plus the long hours in the chair can leave patients feeling fatigued and quite cold, so a blanket and a warm pair of socks is a must to get them through it.

“We’d love people to put themselves in the ‘socks’ of someone living with kidney disease and run, ride, walk, hop, skip or dance their way through October to raise money for our courageous kidney community,” Mr

Forbes said.

Money raised from the Red Socks Appeal will fund critical support services such as the Kidney Helpline, Kidney Kids and Youth Program, Transplant House and the Big Red Kidney Bus.

Of the 1.7 million Australians affected by kidney disease, 1.5 million are unaware they are living with the early signs of the disease.

“The shocking fact about kidney disease is that a person can lose up to 90 per cent of their kidney function before any symptoms are apparent,” Mr Forbes said.

“A person could be relatively fine one day and the next they could be in hospital facing a life sentence of continuous dialysis or on a transplant list, waiting for a suitable kidney donor.

“We need to prevent people reaching this point, so the Red Socks Appeal is also a great opportunity to raise more awareness around the impact this disease has on people’s lives and that of their families and drive early detection.”

With Covid restrictions still impacting people’s lives, this year’s Red Sock event has something for everyone – even if you can’t get out to raise money, you can wear red socks and support the cause from your living room and social media.

To find out more and register for the Kidney Health Red Socks Appeal, visit