Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s largest provider of dialysis products and services, today announced a new partnership with extreme adventurer, David Grier, who will attempt to run the 4000km route of the Great Wall of China in just 70 days, raising awareness of kidney health and chronic kidney disease.
"Back to the Wall — Ignite Hope of Life" was officially launched at the 16th Asian Pacific Congress of Nephrology (APCN) in Beijing today. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign's name celebrates David Grier's return to the Great Wall. Twelve years after becoming one of the first people in history to run the entire route of the Great Wall of China, 58-year old David and his running partner Andrew Stuart (50) will now complete the run in the other direction. In 2006, he ran the route in 98 days, and now plans to shave 28 days off his time. The campaign's name also acknowledges the importance of hope in all our lives, and especially the hope for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to lead fuller, more active and vibrant lives.
Professor Yu Xueqing, Professor of Medicine and Director of Sun Yat-sen University's Institute of Nephrology , Vice President of The First Affiliated Hospital, and President of the Chinese Society of Nephrology (CSN), welcomed news of the kidney health initiative: “There are 130 million people living with CKD in China.1 To help tackle the problem, the Chinese Government has announced a series of healthcare policies to build health insurance programs and a medical referral system for critical illness. The Fresenius Medical Care campaign will complement these government initiatives while playing a vital role in promoting kidney care knowledge and raising awareness for chronic kidney disease.”
David Grier and Andrew Stuart will begin their journey in the last grasp of winter in the mountains at Shanhaiguan, where the ramparts of the Great Wall are washed by the Bohai Sea. From here, they will run several thousand kilometers inland to the unrelenting sun and wind of the Gobi Desert, finally reaching the end point, where the wall meets the Great White River in Jayugauan.
While David and Andrew are completing the grueling run, the public will be encouraged to learn more about kidney health and chronic kidney disease through a series of messages and activities, while also following the runners' journey through continuous updates posted across social media. People will even be able to run the virtual Great Wall of China in an interactive online game, where they will experience their own glimpse of the journey, while learning more about kidney health.
“We are proud to be kicking-off this important campaign in China,” said Harry de Wit, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care Asia-Pacific. “Fresenius Medical Care has been supporting the kidney care needs of the local community since 1993 and has recently opened its first independent Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis centre in China. “The 'Back to the Wall — Ignite Hope of Life' campaign allows us to extend that reach, engaging the community in essential kidney health messages, as well as working closely with physicians to deliver a series of special patient care events. We will be expanding the campaign throughout Asia-Pacific where we will be organizing company walks and runs so we can ensure that every step, every kilometer of David's run counts for kidney health.”
On the eve of his run, David Grier spoke about the significance of this journey: "The journey is not about me, it’s about the difference I make,” he said. “Most importantly, it is about inspiring hope no matter how insurmountable our challenges may seem — and to trust that through effort, self-belief and never giving up, we can all realize and live our dreams.” It is a message that amplifies Fresenius Medical Care's vision: to create a future worth living for patients, worldwide, every day.
 CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) official website, September 25, 2016. Available at: www.rmzxb.com.cn/c/2016-09-25/1052694.shtml. Accessed 24 March 2018.
Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases of which around 3.2 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 3,752 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for 320,960 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the leading provider of dialysis products such as dialysis machines or dialyzers. Along with the core business, the company focuses on expanding the range of related medical services in the field of Care Coordination. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS).