Columbia State professor doesn't wave white flag

Friday, March 21, 2008
Professor Flagg collects a donation from a student.

Columbia State Associate Professor of Geography Aubrey Flagg will be walking in the National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee Annual Kidney Walk at Maury County Park on April 27.

Flagg has a personal interest in the Kidney Walk, in that two of his sisters and one of his nieces have already lost their lives to kidney related ailments. Flagg has also lost his only brother to kidney cancer, and currently suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease himself.

"To say the least, kidney disease has affected my life for many years and I have finally decided to do something about it," Flagg says. "Kidney disease is truly one of the silent killers; many people do not realize that they have the disease until it is too late. Only through education and medical testing can this cruel disease be eradicated or managed."

Flagg's goal is to not only raise $17,000 for the walk to support services to kidney patients in Middle Tennessee, but to create awareness and educate people about the nature and sophistication of this horrendous disease. What Flagg has done as of mid March has been nothing short of amazing. He's organized a Columbia State Community College Chargers Team Walk Account, and enlisted the support of not only his friends, family, community contacts and co-workers, but also the Columbia State student body.

"We really want to break the previous record for the most funds ever raised by a single team for the National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee Maury County walk," said Flagg. "We think the previous record is around the $7,000 - $8,000 range. Thanks to the generosity and support of the students here at Columbia State, we'll easily be able to beat that."

Flagg is then quick to say that the record probably has already been broken, since he's raised $11,000 with more than six weeks to go before the event, with more than $3,000 of the $11,000 coming directly from the wallets and pockets of current Columbia State students.

"Some of them, I've hit up multiple times," says Flagg. "They're great. They see me walking around with my big plastic donation jar with pictures of kidneys all over it, and they can't help but continue to contribute.

Whether it is a few cents here, or several dollars there, the support from the students has been overwhelming. An important part of this whole thing is that 80 percent of the funds raised by our Columbia State Chargers team will stay here in Maury County, to be used for transplants, dialysis and research."

In Tennessee alone, there are more than 1,500 people waiting for kidney transplants and more than 6,000 patients who are fighting kidney and urinary tract diseases daily. If you're around Columbia anytime prior to April 27, you can count on Flagg approaching you for a donation. If you're not, you can still reach out to him to help this cause by calling 931-540-2768. Donations can also be mailed to the following address:

Aubrey W. Flagg

Columbia State

Community College

1665 Hampshire Pike

Columbia, TN 38401

All checks should be made out to The National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee.