We are urging people also to take steps to help individuals whose kidneys have failed
Rockville, MD (Vocus) March 12, 2008 —
On World Kidney Day, March 13, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is urging the public to Take Six Steps that Count to Fight Kidney Disease:
- Know your numbers
- Identify your risks for kidney disease
- Donate to help kidney patients with treatment-related expenses
- Notify your family of your wish to be an organ donor
- Eat healthy, exercise, and don't smoke
- Your doctor is a resource—ask about your eGFR!
The Take Six Steps that Count to Fight Kidney Disease campaign can be found on the American Kidney Fund's new website, http://www.kidneyfund.org.
"Many of these steps are simple and concrete actions that individuals can take to protect their own kidney health," said LaVarne A. Burton, CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "An estimated 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, in many cases as a complication of diabetes or high blood pressure. We're spreading the word so that individuals at high risk for chronic kidney disease can take preventive action and possibly avoid this very serious health condition."
"We are urging people also to take steps to help individuals whose kidneys have failed," Burton added. "One important step is to register as an organ donor and notify one's family about this decision—as there are almost 75,000 people in the United States awaiting a life-saving kidney transplant today. Another significant and generous way to help is to make a financial contribution that will help us to assist dialysis patients with their treatment-related expenses."
AKF is the nation’s foremost source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients. Last year, AKF set a record in its patient assistance grants, providing over $100 million in assistance that helped 68,000 kidney patients maintain health insurance coverage and pay for treatment-related essentials that insurance would not cover. This record-setting level of assistance was made possible because of generous donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Throughout the month of March, which is National Kidney Awareness Month, AKF is reaching out to the public with a message of kidney disease awareness and prevention.
Because of strong demand, AKF has reprinted its free health information wallet card in English and has developed a new version in Spanish. The wallet card gives key facts about the typical laboratory tests for kidney health, heart health, diabetes and anemia. To request a free wallet card, call AKF’s toll-free HelpLine at 866-300-2900, or place an order online. To date, AKF has distributed more than 650,000 of the cards.
Also in March, the American Kidney Fund's MIKE® program (Minority Intervention and Kidney Education) is holding free kidney disease screenings in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. These screenings are open to anyone 18 and older, and are held in neighborhoods with very high documented rates of kidney failure. Since 2004, the American Kidney Fund's MIKE® program has educated more than 100,000 individuals in these communities about kidney disease, and has provided free screenings to more than 16,000 people, working in partnership with community organizations. The American Kidney Fund's MIKE® program is sponsored nationally by Amgen.
Additionally, AKF has launched its annual nationwide art contest that is open to children with kidney disease. Winners receive a free trip to Washington, D.C., and have their art published in AKF's calendar.
The American Kidney Fund is our nation's #1 source of direct, treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients, and is a leader in providing education and outreach to those who are at risk for kidney disease. For its stewardship of the donated dollar, AKF has earned top ratings from Forbes Magazine, Reader's Digest, Charity Navigator and the American Institute of Philanthropy. AKF is a member of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.
Tamara Ruggiero, 301-984-6657