American Kidney Fund Issues Appeal for Disaster Relief Contributions

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The American Kidney Fund today issued an urgent appeal for contributions for disaster relief to help dialysis patients who have been affected by Hurricane Ike.

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As a result of these efforts, the American Kidney Fund's Disaster Relief Program is extremely low on funding and may not be able to accommodate all new requests for help unless additional donations arrive

The American Kidney Fund today issued an urgent appeal for contributions for disaster relief to help dialysis patients who have been affected by Hurricane Ike.

The American Kidney Fund's Disaster Relief Program has been providing emergency assistance to dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Gustav, and also has been helping patients who were affected by flooding in other areas of the country.

"As a result of these efforts, the American Kidney Fund's Disaster Relief Program is extremely low on funding and may not be able to accommodate all new requests for help unless additional donations arrive," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund.

More than 80 dialysis centers remain closed after Hurricane Ike. Patients who have been displaced by the storm are receiving dialysis in other locations. The American Kidney Fund's Disaster Relief Program is a rapid-response system that provides emergency assistance in the form of block grants to local dialysis centers when a disaster such as Hurricane Ike strikes a community. Dialysis centers then distribute the funds to help their patients replace medications, food and household items and pay for essentials, such as transportation to dialysis if they have been temporarily evacuated.

"The situation in the region is very serious, and we anticipate receiving a high volume of requests for disaster assistance in the coming weeks," said Burton. "We hope to address these vital patient needs through the generosity of public contributions."

The American Kidney Fund has been providing disaster assistance to dialysis patients for many years. The program's largest effort occurred after Hurricane Katrina, when more than 5,100 Gulf Coast dialysis patients in 12 states received emergency assistance totaling over $260,000 from the American Kidney Fund, thanks to generous donations from the general public and corporations.

Anyone wishing to contribute to disaster relief for dialysis patients may visit http://www.kidneyfund.org to make an online contribution. In addition, contributions are accepted via telephone at 1-800-638-8299. Checks may be mailed to American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 1010, Rockville, MD 20852. Please indicate in the memo line that the contribution is for disaster relief.

The American Kidney Fund is the nation's No. 1 source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients and a leader in providing health education to people with or at risk for kidney disease. In 2007, the American Kidney Fund provided treatment-related grants to 68,000 kidney patients totaling more than $100 million. The American Kidney Fund reaches tens of thousands of individuals each year with information about kidney health; operates a kidney disease screening program in high-risk communities; and maintains a toll-free HelpLine (866-300-2900) which provides education about kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund is a six-time recipient of the highest "Four Star" rating from Charity Navigator; holds an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy; adheres to the National Health Council Standards of Excellence; and is a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

Contact:
Tamara Ruggiero
301-984-6657

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