American Kidney Fund Highlights '31 Million Reasons' to Raise CKD Awareness During National Kidney Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROCKVILLE, MD (February 26, 2015) – The American Kidney Fund (AKF), the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving people with and at-risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD), will mark National Kidney Month in March by highlighting “31 million reasons” to support people living with CKD through increased awareness, earlier detection, improved treatment and greater research funding.

CKD affects an estimated 31 million Americans. A silent killer, it usually presents no early symptoms, but early detection and treatment can greatly improve health outcomes for people who have CKD. CKD often can be prevented altogether with management of its leading causes, diabetes and high blood pressure. One in three Americans is at risk for CKD, and the American Kidney Fund urges anyone with CKD risk factors to have the simple tests that can tell how well their kidneys are working.

“Thirty-one million Americans living with CKD gives us 31 million urgent reasons to raise awareness about this devastating disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund.

AKF has planned a variety of events during National Kidney Month that will inform at-risk individuals, members of Congress and the public about the wide-ranging impact of CKD on American lives:

  • Kickoff of nationwide Kidney Action Day® event series –AKF in March will kick off its 2015schedule of Kidney Action Days, community outreach events held in cities with high rates of CKD. Events will take place this month in Washington, D.C., and Memphis, followed later in the year by Kidney Action Days in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Augusta, Georgia. Locations and details are available on the AKF website.
  • Advocacy for CKD legislation – On March 4, AKF will bring a group of patient-advocates from around the country to Capitol Hill to meet with their Congressional representatives and to advocate for the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act. This legislation would address gaps in federal funding for CKD research; improve patient access to treatment; and create greater economic stability in the Medicare program that covers most people with kidney failure. On this same day, AKF will hold its sixth annual Kidney Action Day on Capitol Hill, providing free kidney health screenings, kidney health education and fun fitness activities in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building. Featured speakers at the event will include Congressional Kidney Caucus co-chairs Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA). Follow AKF’s day on the Hill on social media using hashtags #KidneyActionDay and #Act4Kidneys.
  • Art contest for children with kidney disease – AKF is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its nationwide art contest for children with kidney disease.Children nationwide who have CKD, are on dialysis, or have had a transplant submitted their artwork to AKF in January and February. From March 16 through 31, the 13 finalists will have their artwork featured on AKF’s website, KidneyFund.org, and the public will vote for a winner. The winner’s artwork will appear on the cover of AKF’s 2016 calendar, and AKF will honor the child at the organization’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, in Washington on Sept. 30.
  • “31 for 31” campaign—Each of the 31 days in March, AKF willshare with its 95,000-member social media audience a new fact about CKD or about AKF’s mission. AKF will encourage supporters to donate $31 to the organization in honor of the 31 million people living with CKD.  Follow the campaign on social media with hashtag #31FOR31.