Hello people..It’s Health and Fitness week and my #WCW is  Iya of the Iya Foundation..

Here’s the 411..Enjoy!

Please tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Iya
Bekondo-Granatella, kidney transplant recipient, and Founder of the Iya Kidney
Foundation. I am a Cameroonian, currently residing in the United

Why the
Iya Foundation? How did it all start? 

The passion
of The Iya Foundation is born of personal experiences. I was diagnosed with
Kidney Disease at age 7, and lost both of my kidneys ten years later to kidney
failure. After 5 years of dialysis therapy, God shined His grace upon me, and
made it possible for me to get a renal transplant through my amazing selfless
mom who donated one of her kidneys to me. Our transplant will be 10 years on
September 6th 2015
What is the Iya Foundation? Where is it located?

The Iya Kidney Foundation is a
registered 501c3 Not-For-Profit Organization located in Edison New Jersey. The
Iya Foundation is a Non-Profit organization that raises awareness on Kidney
Disease and Organ Donation. The organization also provides financial assistance
to low income kidney failure patients.

Iya & her mum

How do you accomplish your vision? The activities of the foundation

Our awareness campaigns
include: giving a kidney talk at your place of worship;
our annual walk and barbeque fundraiser that 
further echoes kidney and organ donation awareness, sending out educative and informative materials through our e-newsletter, as well as use
social media to advocate through our daily educative updates and campaigns,
such as our Green Campaign – where we beckon the public to wear their green outfits and post
it on social media with a caption that highlights kidney and organ donation

Our Financial Assistance
Program was launched last year, and 5 End Stage Renal Disease patients
benefited funds of up to a $1000.00 each. We will start accepting applications
for our second round of financial assistance in March.
Also, we are embarking
on our Global Dialysis Initiative which will enable us to assist existing
dialysis clinics in developing countries where dialysis conditions our terrible
– a very high population need for dialysis but limited resources to cater to
the patients, causing a lot of deaths as a result. We have an upcoming gala – The
Iya Foundation Hope Affaire

scheduled for September 5th 2015, to be held in Edison NJ. Proceeds
from that Gala will go towards assisting these dialysis clinics. You can
click here to
be a sponsor
Give us an insight on Kidney Disease…What are the most common Kidney diseases? 
Around the world, the
two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure,
which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Other conditions that
affect the kidneys are:

Glomerulonephritis:  the third leading cause of chronic kidney disease
is caused by a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the
kidney’s filtering units.

Polycystic Kidney Disease
: this is the only kind of chronic kidney disease that is inherited. It causes
large cysts to form in the kidneys and damage the surrounding tissue.
      Malformations: this usually occurs
while the baby is developing in the womb. For example, a narrowing may occur that
prevents normal outflow of urine and causes urine to flow back up to the
kidney. This causes infections and may damage the kidneys

as well as other diseases that affect the body’s immune system
      Obstructions caused by problems like
kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
      Repeated urinary infections.
Please enlighten us about organ donation
Organ donation is the process of giving an
organ or a part of an organ for the purpose of transplantation into another
person. Blacks are the largest group of minorities
in need of an organ transplant.
Blacks have higher rates of
diabetes and high blood pressure than Caucasians, increasing the risk of organ
failure. Blacks make up 13% of the population, 34% of those waiting for a
kidney, and 25% of those waiting for a heart.
We need more people in our
communities to become organ donors. We need to eradicate from our minds the
myths that continue to jeopardize our reasoning and so prevent us from doing
the right thing. Organ donation does save lives.  Click here to register to become an organ
donor today.

Facts about Organ Donation
1)     Anyone
can register to be an organ donor regardless of age, race, or medical history
2)     An
individual’s donation status does not affect medical care; the first priority
of medical professionals is to save lives.
3)     For
cadaver donors, donation does not become an option until death has been
4)     All
major religions in the U.S support donation and view it as a final act of love
and generosity.
5)     There
are no cost to the donor of their family for organ donation
6)     An open
casket funeral is possible for cadaver donors
7)     The
donor and family are treated with the utmost care, respect and dignity
throughout the donation process
8)     A
living donor can also save lives by donating a kidney or part of the liver,
intestine, lung, or pancrease
What is
process of Organ Donation in the U.S.? 

Organ donation gives
individuals the opportunity to give others a gift of life; a second chance at
life. With so many people in need of organ and tissue transplants, the need for
organ and tissue donations is rapidly on the rise. You could sign up to become
a living donor, or an organ donor upon death.
For Deceased Donors
You can register to
become an organ donor through an online registry, where upon death, your
specified donor organs and tissues could be transplanted to a matching transplant
According to the law, hospitals have to notify
Organ Procurement Organizations of death or imminent death. If organ donation
is a possibility, a recovery agency personnel checks the State Donor Registry
to see if the person had designated his/her wishes. A representative from the
recovery agency will then meet/talk with the family to discuss their loved
one’s wishes, take a medical history, and arrange for tests to determine if the
person can be a donor.

For Living Donors
Fortunately, patients could also receive organs
from living donors. Living donation offers an alternative for individuals
awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor as well as increases the
existing organ supply. Click here to learn more about how to become a living organ donor.
In reference to cost, the donor’s family does not
pay for the cost of organ or tissue donation. All costs related to donation of
organs and tissues are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance,
Medicare or Medicaid. Medical costs for care given prior to a person’s death —
and funeral expenses — remain the responsibility of the family. Usually if the
would-be recipient has no form of insurance, they would have to raise a
recommended amount from the health care team, before the transplant can take
place. In my case, because I didn’t have any form of insurance, I had to raise
a minimum of $30K, before my transplant was performed (even though my mom was
already approved to be a match).

A few
recommendations  on our lifestyle that can help to improve kidney function and
reduce health risks

The two main
recommendations are eating healthy and implementing some form of exercise
routine to keep you physically fit.
Tips to a Kidney Healthy
Commit to Whole Grains –
Stay Away From Refined Products
No Salt Canned Foods
Buy Fresh Fruits and
Use Spices for Flavor
Instead of Salt and Fats
Eat Lean – Avoid Red
Avoid Processed Sweets
Avoid Saturated Fats
Limit Dairy Fat
Lifestyle Activities
that could Help Keep You Active and Physically Fit
Taking the stairs
instead of the elevator.
Walking to your
coworker’s office instead of using the phone or email.
Take a short walk around
the block with family, friends, or coworkers.
Gardening and doing
household chores (hand wash your clothes, vacuum, or sweep the floor, hand wash
the dishes, mop the floors, rake leaves, wash your windows, etc).
Walking inside the bank
rather than using the drive- through window.
Parking further from
store entrances and walking the extra distance.
Taking short breaks at
work to get up, stretch, and walk.
Playing with your
children, nieces, and nephews, and pets.
If you take the bus, get
off one stop early if your are in an area safe for walking.
In bad weather, walk
around a shopping mall.
Take a walk after dinner
instead of watching TV.
How can
people support the Iya Foundation? 
To support
the Iya Foundation, go to www.theiyafoundation.org and click
on the donate button. You
can also purchase The Iya Foundation Save-a-Life T-Shirt as 100% of
the proceeds will go towards our financial assistance program. For more
information on how to support the Iya Foundation, email us at info@theiyafoundation.org

Do you have any upcoming campaigns or events?

Yes, we are
gearing up for our Green Awareness Campaign which is a social media frenzy that
encourages everyone to wear green in March as a means to promote awareness on
Kidney Disease and Organ Donation. We encourage everyone to purchase the green Save-a-Life T-shirt on our
website and Rock it on March 12th, which is international kidney
awareness day.
Also, on September 5th
2015, we will be launching our first ever Iya Foundation Hope Gala, which
will benefit kidney failure patients in our communities here as well as
dialysis clinics in developing countries. This event also marks the ten year
transplant anniversary of my mom and I. It will be a night of inspiration,
education, awareness, Hope, and of course fun, laughter, dance, good food, and
excitement. Go online to our website, to be a SPONSOR for this event or contact us.

and how can people reach you if they want to be part the Iya project?

You can
become a member by registering online at our
website, email us at info@theiyafoundation.org, or call us
at 732-485-7052

Wow Iya Iya Iya…..How many times did I call you? lol. Thank you soo much for this  very educative and informative interview. I am truly inspired that you are using your experience to reach out and make a difference in other peoples lives. Thumbs up to you and your team. Thank you for being involved in such a noble cause and reppin’ 237 all the way.  
OK people.Check out the Iya Foundation’s activities 7 resources on their website & facebook page.Become a Sponsor the Iya Foundation gala, Donate, Buy a Tshirt...You will be helping to increase kidney awareness or save someone’s life.


Author: IRepCamer

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  1. She great and awesome. I luv her. Thanks Yef for sharing and splendid write.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Sheryl..Isn't she? Please spread the word!!

      Post a Reply
    • You can say that again…Her passion for what she does and making a difference in many people's lives makes are very deserving of to be my WCW!!

      Post a Reply
  2. This is a very inspiring story. Someone who uses her 'misfortunes' to make a positive and impactful change in the lives of many.Her positivity is contageous. Wishing her all the very best. keep them coming.

    Post a Reply

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