Laura Bianchi, Rose Law Group partner and director of Medical Cannabis department, to perform at Dancing with the Stars Arizona 2019

Laura Bianchi, partner and director of Rose Law Group’s Medical Cannabis Practice, will take to the dance floor as part of the National Kidney Foundation’s 13th annual Dancing with the Stars Arizona fundraiser on February 22, 2019.

Dancing with the Stars Arizona features performances by local luminaries partnered with professional dance instructors. All funds raised during the event go to patient services and programs of the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona.

Laura has a personal investment in the fundraiser. “I am taking part in the event to bring attention to a little-known area of kidney health: athletic performance-related kidney disease and kidney failure,” she says. Having trained for years in mixed martial arts, she has witnessed the debilitating impact of these conditions, mostly due to extreme weight cutting.

Cutting weight to reach a predetermined weight class is a common part of combat sports, and often such procedures involve deliberate dehydration. One study found that 39 percent of MMA fighters enter competition in a dehydrated state. While cutting back on liquids helps quickly reduce body weight, the process can have dire consequences. Along with diminished performance, increased risk of injury, and vision problems, dehydration can lead to decreased kidney function and serious kidney problems.

The list of fighters who’ve been laid low by kidney problems is growing by the day. Many have had to bow out of fights or retire from MMA due to kidney disease or kidney failure. Several have even died.

“The number-one way to combat this disturbing trend is for fighters and trainers to embrace healthy year-round weight control, and avoid dehydration and other extreme weight-cutting measures,” says Laura. “But it is also vitally important to ensure those already struggling with kidney disease, fighters or otherwise, are given the support they need thanks to organizations like the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona.”

Laura aims to use her involvement in Dancing with the Stars Arizona to raise money for and awareness of performance-related kidney problems. Along the way, she aims to blow people’s socks off with her dance routine!

To find out more and donate to Laura’s team, click here.

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