"America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon has announced that he will lead the 2012 National Kidney Foundation's New York City 5K Kidney Walk to spread the word about kidneys and kidney disease.


The 31-year-old actor was hospitalized this past January after suffering mild kidney failure; a health scare that ultimately led to a diagnosis of a rare form of lupus


“They thought it was just kidney disease, and then they were trying to figure out why my immune system was attacking my kidneys, and that was sort of the root of it all," Cannon told "Good Morning America" in early March.


Though Cannon's condition has stabilized, he remains on a strict diet and has reduced his work load to lower stress and improve his overall health. His participation in the NYC Kidney Walk comes on the heels of a highly successful healthy living web series called "Nick Cannon's 'NCredible Health Hustle." The hope is that through such outreach, he can help shed light on disease that impacts more than 26 million Americans. 


"This walk will help those at risk take the lifesaving step of getting their kidneys checked," said Cannon. "By participating, we're all helping get the word out about screening and the importance of healthy lifestyle in preventing kidney disease. I had very unhealthy eating habits but now I know that eating a low fat, low sodium and low sugar diet and keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control can prevent kidney damage."


The NYC Kidney Walk (1 of 100 planned throughout the U.S.) will take place on on October 14 at South Street Seaport. For more information, visit the official site here 


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Nick Cannon to host NYC Kidney Walk
Entertainer, diagnosed with lupus earlier this year, hopes to get the word out about screening and the importance of a healthy lifestyle in preventing kidney di