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Celebvocate: Laila Ali on kidney disease


Laila Ali at the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday. (American Kidney Fund)

An occasional look at the showbiz professionals taking their turn at the D.C. lobbying thing. Thursday’s visitor: Laila Ali.

Venue: Rayburn House Office Building.

Cause: Kidney disease awareness.

Bona fides: Retired professional boxer, former “American Gladiators” host and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, daughter of boxing great Muhammad Ali.

Backup: Reps. Jim McDermott, John Fleming, Gwen Moore.

What she wants: For people to get tested for kidney disease.

How she looked: Less gladiatorial in real life, but still a little intimidating. Tall, super-poised. Black skirt, gray jacket, heels.

How she sounded: Very concerned, if not terribly versed in kidney trivia. Ali stuck to the talking points, with little attempt at statistics or heartfelt personal anecdotes, reports our colleague Aaron Leitko.

Sound bite: “I got my test done today, I was like, ‘I don’t have kidney disease,’” she explained in closing remarks. “But really, how would you know?”

Whom we passed up for her: Actress Maria Bello at the “Women Thrive” meeting on poverty in developing nations.

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