Community gathers to start raising money for Kidney Walk

At the Walgreens store in Ottumwa Saturday, the community gathered to help raise money for the first ever Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk.

Employees from Walgreens, along with members of the Ottumwa Fire Department and the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce helped organize and participate in the fundraiser.

Jami Kaelin, who is with the Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk, and a transplant recipient, wanted to raise awareness.

"There are about 26 million people in the United States that have kidney disease. It is a silent disease, you don't know if somebody has it. I am actually going to be celebrating the 11th year of my second kidney transplant on October 9th; so there are a lot of people out here that are supportive we just want to show the community that we support everyone who is going through this," Kaelin said.

Tracy Caldwell with Walgreens told KTVO that her store is proud to support such a worthy cause.

"We become aware of the kidney walk and this was our way of giving back. All of the proceeds today go towards the kidney walk, Walgreens is not making any profit off of this. All of the volunteers here today are Walgreens' employees and their families," Caldwell said.

Ottumwa will be hosting its first kidney walk on October 13 at the Greater Ottumwa Park.

You can learn more about the walk through the organization's Facebook page. The page is titled, "Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk."

You can learn more about the National Kidney Foundation here.