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Laila Ali Joins the Fight Against Kidney Disease

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Laila Ali Times Square
Laila Ali is fighting a different battle these days.

Ali, who currently co-hosts "Everyday Health" on ABC, has teamed up with the American Kidney Fund to promote the "Pair Up" campaign, a national campaign that promotes the awareness of kidney disease. The campaign aims to help people figure out whether they are at risk, and then encourages them to spread the word.

We talked to Ali while she was in New York about her role in the new campaign and about the new addition to her family.

ESSENCE: Tell us about your partnership with the American Kidney Fund.
LAILA ALI: I partnered with the American Kidney Fund to launch the Pair Up Campaign. It’s a new campaign to make people aware of kidney disease in our communities. So many people in my family were affected by this, and I didn’t know that 31 million people have been affected by kidney disease. But it’s a very real disease. So the American Kidney Fund is trying to get people to take simple steps so they can find out if they are at risk.

ESSENCE: Was there any reason you felt like this was the best campaign for you to promote?
LAILA: Well, it affects the African-American community, and I’ve also had family members who have suffered from it. And it definitely wasn’t on my radar, but it’s preventable. We often think that we can’t do anything about it, but these things are often very preventable.

ESSENCE: Where can people find out more about it?
LAILA: They can log on to kidneyfund.org/pairup or they can go to my site LailaAli.com.

ESSENCE: Also, you recently had a baby! How are you adjusting to that?
LAILA: Yes, Sydney. She’s six months now. I feel like I’m a veteran. I have two. So, it’s about having my priorities in order, and knowing when to say no. I have to pick and choose. But I love it and I love being a mother.

Watch Ali's PSA below:


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