American Kidney Fund Pairs Up with Atlantans to Fight Kidney Disease

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Free event with health screenings to educate those at risk on prevention, lifestyle choices

The American Kidney Fund will host Kidney Action Day featuring the Steps That Count walkathon in Atlanta on Saturday, November 12th, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Turner Field.

Kidney Action Day, free and open to the public, begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m., with free health screenings, healthy food samples, cooking and exercise demonstrations, and other family-friendly activities to increase awareness of kidney disease. The free health screenings will check for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes, and other important health measures. The Steps That Count walkathon portion of the event begins at 10 a.m. and follows a course around the Turner Field complex, raising funds for programs and services to help patients impacted by kidney disease.

The mission of the American Kidney Fund is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In September, the organization launched Pair Up, a national prevention campaign empowering women to fight kidney disease.
In 2010, the American Kidney Fund provided $1.2 million in treatment-related financial assistance to more than 1,700 dialysis patients in Atlanta. This is the second year the American Kidney Fund has hosted Kidney Action Day in Atlanta, where participants will receive instant test results for finger stick glucose, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, weight and height.

“Pairing up with communities across the nation to raise awareness of kidney disease and its leading causes—diabetes and high blood pressure—is a critical part of the mission of the American Kidney Fund, especially in the Atlanta metropolitan area where rates of kidney disease are above the national average.” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “We’re expecting hundreds of Atlantans to bring their friends and family to Kidney Action Day and join us in the fight against kidney disease.”

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the nation’s ninth leading cause of death, and it is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease. In Georgia, rates of kidney disease are higher than the national average. Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, followed by high blood pressure. Together, these conditions account for nearly three quarters of all cases of kidney failure. CKD can develop slowly or quickly, and most who are affected have no symptoms, therefore they don’t get tested. However, if tested and detected early, chronic kidney disease can be slowed or even stopped.

“Getting tested is the first step in the fight against kidney disease. I learned about my condition 13 years ago and have been on dialysis ever since.” said Schwanda Owens, an AKF advocate and kidney disease patient from Union City, GA. “I wish I had taken steps to protect my general health and kidneys before I was diagnosed. I want others to be aware of the simple steps they can take to prevent kidney disease.”

AKF has made it a priority to extend its mission of fighting kidney disease by locally promoting the importance of early screening, education, and prevention methods.

This year’s event is sponsored by Amgen Inc., American Renal Associates, Sanofi and U.S. Renal Care. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

About the American Kidney Fund
The mission of the American Kidney Fund is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need; health education; and prevention efforts. The American Kidney Fund leads the nation in providing charitable assistance to dialysis patients who need help with the costs associated with treating kidney failure. In 2010, 101,000 people—1 out of every 4 dialysis patients in the United States—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. Millions of people nationwide benefit annually from the American Kidney Fund’s efforts to fight 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).

As a nine-time recipient of the top “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator, the American Kidney Fund is ranked among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide for fiscal accountability. In addition, the American Kidney Fund 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.

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Tenee Hawkins
American Kidney Fund
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