Hawkins is the senior director of communications and marketing for the American Kidney Fund, which is hosting a regional Kidney Action Day -- including a walkathon -- on Saturday at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

Why is this event so important for the D.C. area? Kidney disease is alarmingly high in the D.C. metropolitan area. Rates of kidney disease in the District are almost twice the national average. We know we're in the right place for prevention. We do screenings all year, but we usually do a little bit more at this event. We do have screenings out of our Rockville headquarters, and we screen year-round in the D.C. metropolitan area, providing free screenings in high-risk communities.

What is there to offer at the event? Kidney Action Day is all about people doing two things: finding out their risk for kidney disease and spreading the word. We hope people will pair up with someone and come out. We want to make it fun for the whole family. We want it to be more than a screening.

What kind of screenings do you offer? We do an instant glucose test for diabetes, we also do a blood pressure test -- that's the second leading cause of kidney disease -- and we'll also do a blood draw. It's a good test of kidney function that will let them know how well you're operating. We also have community partners to provide vision screenings and dental screenings as well. We will also provide healthy cooking demonstrations, where someone donates their time to cook food samples and help people with their diet and keeping their weight down. - Ben Giles

What about the walkathon? Last year, I believe we had about 200 walkers. People can walk to raise funds for the American Kidney Fund or just to raise awareness. The outreach event as a whole, we expect more than 500 people to show up.- Ben Giles

?- Ben Giles