Chaminade coach takes battle with kidney disease public

HEMPSTEAD - A Chaminade High School football coach who once played in the NFL is taking his struggles with chronic kidney disease public. Dennis Bligen, who spent several years with the New York Jets, battled the disease for nine years. He underwent a kidney transplant last month, and three days after his surgery, he was back on the field coaching at Chaminade. Bligen and his family formed the Dennis Bligen Kidney Foundation to raise funds and awareness, and to urge people to become kidney donors. Bligen says chronic kidney disease is more prevalent than diabetes and hypertension in the African-American community. He says he wants to spread the word about the disease so that others become aware of the symptoms and risk factors.The Dennis Bligen Kidney Foundation is holding a fundraiser on Sept. 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

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