Celebrating National Kidney Month with an Act of Kindness

March is National Kidney Month which means kidney health is on our minds! Sitting just below the ribs, your kidneys perform the life-saving function of processing over 200 quarts of blood, daily. Think that’s impressive? That’s not all. Kidneys also produce plasma and serve as a filtration system for everything that we digest, from food to beverages–even medication. Without healthy kidneys, your body will become vulnerable to serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Close to Home

Not only because health and wellness is our passion, National Kidney Month holds a special place in our hearts thanks to Anytime Fitness owner Radley West and member Ryan Brooke. For two years, Ryan was kept alive thanks to the help of regular dialysis treatments. Due to a lack of viable donors within his family, Ryan was at the mercy of the waiting list for a new kidney–until Radley learned of his condition.

The Ultimate Act of Kindness

Together, Brooke and Ryan walked the halls of the hospital after surgery.

Radley immediately began exploring her viability to offer a kidney to her Anytime Fitness member in need. After continually passing eligibility tests, when she finally discovered she was a match–there wasn’t a shred of doubt in her mind about giving a kidney to Ryan. Radley says, “There was no decision if I was going do it; I always was, as long as I was compatible.”

Life After Surgery

Ryan and Brooke after their surgeries.

Despite misconceptions about life after kidney donation, both Radley and Ryan are thriving. Radley has ran multiple races post-donation while Ryan has been promoted and got engaged. The best part for Radley? Her new outlook inspired by the experience, “everyone tells me that I saved Ryan’s life, but in reality he saved mine by giving me the opportunity to truly value my gifts and talents and decide to fully put them to use.” Such an inspiring story!

Promoting Kidney Health

Your kidneys are important, so make sure to treat them well! Below are a few habits that help promote kidney health and keep your body working in sync.

  • Exercise regularly. High blood pressure is your kidney’s worst nightmare. Make sure to stay active and keep your blood pressure from skyrocketing.
  • Stay away from tobacco. Smoking also raises your blood pressure, putting you at risk for damaging your kidneys.
  • Keep hydrated. Your kidneys act as a filtration system for your body and water helps keep them functioning at their best.

Find out more on how you can promote kidney health from the Cleveland Clinic, here.

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