American Kidney Fund and Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Team up for Free Kidney Health Screenings and Education in Augusta

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April 30 is Kidney Action Day in Augusta, Ga. An estimated 31 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease, and many won’t find out until their kidneys have failed and they need life-saving dialysis. Free health screenings on April 30 can let people know if their kidneys are working properly or if they may be at risk for kidney disease.

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) and Mt. Calvary Baptist Church are joining forces to present the first-ever Kidney Action Day in Augusta on April 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 1260 Wrightsboro Road. AKF will provide free kidney health screenings—along with health education, cooking demonstrations and fun family activities—during the event, which is open to the entire community.

Kidney disease is a health crisis, particularly in “red zone” neighborhoods around Augusta—including the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church area—that have rates of kidney failure up to four times the national average. Diabetes and hypertension are the leading causes of kidney disease, and most cases of kidney disease could be prevented. Prevention and education are crucial to preventing the complications of kidney disease—such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death.

“Kidney disease is a silent killer and most people who have it are not aware,” said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund and an Augusta native. “Simple tests such as those we’ll provide at Augusta Kidney Action Day can let people know if their kidneys are working properly or if they may be at risk for kidney disease.”

An estimated 31 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease, and many won’t find out until their kidneys have failed and they need life-saving dialysis. “We are so privileged to have the American Kidney Fund here to provide these valuable free screenings and kidney health awareness to Augusta residents,” said the Rev. Clyde Hill, Sr., pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. “So many in our community are medically underserved, and this type of outreach can save lives.”

At similar screenings around the country, about 25 percent of AKF’s screening participants show risks for kidney disease. Kidney disease is a silent, progressive condition, but if it is caught early enough, it can be managed and treated, and many people can avoid kidney failure. A person with kidney failure can survive only by having regular dialysis treatments or by having a kidney transplant.

About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts. It leads the nation in charitable assistance to dialysis patients: last year, 101,000 people—1 out of every 4 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. In 2010, the American Kidney fund provided $7.5 million in grant assistance to dialysis patients in Georgia. The American Kidney Fund also fights kidney disease through public awareness campaigns, free health screenings, health education materials and courses, online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

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Tamara Ruggiero
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