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From Personal Journey to Public Advocacy: Initiative Launched on World Kidney Day to Educate Black Communities on Kidney Health

**London, UK - March 14, 2024**

On World Kidney Day, 14 March 2024, DJ & Radio Presenter Candice McKenzie is launching the African Caribbean Kidney Education Enterprise (ACKEE), a community interest company dedicated to addressing the disparity in kidney health within Black African Caribbean communities.

Did you know that people from Black communities are five times more likely to develop Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) than other groups? Factors such as hypertension, diabetes, genetic predisposition, dietary habits, and a lack of health discussions within the community contribute to this disparity.

Candice McKenzie understands this challenge firsthand. Diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in 2019, she experienced the complexities of kidney disease and its impact on life. IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, is an autoimmune condition with varying symptoms that may go unnoticed for years. As kidney function declines, complications such as high blood pressure and the need for dialysis or a transplant arise.

In 2022, Candice’s kidneys failed, leading her to start dialysis to sustain her life as she waits for a transplant. Her journey underscores the pressing need for awareness and action within Black communities. 2022/2023 NHS data reveals a stark reality: although Black people represent 13% of the kidney transplant waiting list, only 2% of deceased kidney donors are Black.

Candice is committed to changing this narrative, which is why she is launching ACKEE on World Kidney Day.

"This World Kidney Day, I am keen to speak about my personal experience in a bid to raise awareness on the importance of kidney health so others can avoid being in the same situation that I find myself in," says Candice.

Through advocacy and education, Candice strives to reduce the number of people in the black community developing kidney disease and going on to have kidney failure and needing a transplant.

"I also want to raise awareness on the strong need for Black people to donate their organs when they die," she adds.

"This World Kidney Day, we need people from the Black community to:

- Make a commitment to learn more about looking after their kidneys, a good place to start is the African Caribbean Kidney Education Enterprise - follow @wearetheACKEE on social major media platforms.

- Record their organ donation decision and share their decision with their family members.

 

ENDS

Notes for editors

  • The African Caribbean Kidney Education Enterprise (ACKEE) is a registered Community Interest Company passionate about educating Black African Caribbean people to look after their kidneys in life and donate their kidneys in death.

  • For more information, media inquiries or interview requests, please contact press@ackee.org.uk 

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