â€œGloria Brooks, who organized the golf tournament, had a vision to bring our counties together to support the critical work of the Kidney Foundation, and with the hope of saving lives,â€ Johnson said.
Brooks, who donated one of her kidneys to her brother who needed a transplant, is reaching out through the tournament to help Etienne Cromer, who is a friend of Johnson, and radio personality Olivia Fox, who met during dialysis treatment.
â€œThe tournament is a tribute to my brother. The common thread that Etienne and Olivia and I share is the rare O-positive blood that makes it harder to find a donor,â€ Brooks said.
According to the American Association of Kidney Patients, O-positive patients can only receive a kidney from an O-positive donor, while recipients with A, B or AB blood types can receive a kidney from donors with matching blood types, as well as those with type O-blood.
â€œI was lucky because I could give my brother a kidney. I wanted to do this because the community needs to be informed about the disease itself. Sometimes, like my brother, people donâ€™t even know they have kidney disease, particularly in the minority community,â€ Brooks said.
â€œWe have a lot of hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes, which are the main causes of kidney disease. I wanted people to be much more aware of the disease, how you get it, how to be screened for it; and I want folk to understand itâ€™s okay to be a living donor. You only need one kidney to live; you donâ€™t need two.â€
Sharon Taylor, communications spokesperson for Prince Georgeâ€™s County, said â€œIt would give the county a great opportunity to focus on health issues that so effect our county in terms of the illnesses that lead to kidney disease, like hypertension and diabetes. We see this as a way of helping people to connect the dots, from prevention on one hand, to getting screened for kidney disease, and finally organ donation, which is a life changing and life saving issue.â€
For more information on the Tri-County Golf Classic visit www.thepeopleschoicellc.com.
Larry Saxton can be reached at