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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Tenee Hawkins
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
404.658.1423
thawkins@kidneyfund.org

American Kidney Fund Advocates For Awareness and Takes Action On Capitol Hill During March National Kidney Month

American Kidney Fund Launches Month of Awareness Activities Including Annual Kidney Action Day Program and Capitol Hill Advocacy Event with Legislators

ROCKVILLE, MD (March 4, 2014) – To commemorate March as National Kidney Month and draw attention to the devastating impact that kidney disease has on Americans, the American Kidney Fund has planned a number of events that will inform and educate at-risk individuals, members of Congress and community partners about kidney disease.

The American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month initiatives are designed to educate the public and raise awareness about kidney disease—the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States—which affects an estimated 31 million Americans. Kidney disease is an often-preventable condition, but it is known as a silent killer because it doesn’t present any early symptoms.

“This year the American Kidney Fund is pleased to be able to continue our proactive educational efforts and increase awareness of kidney disease with the American public and lawmakers. We are proud to bring 13 patient-advocates to Washington to share their stories on Capitol Hill,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “We will also kick off our free screening programs across the country to educate high-risk communities about kidney disease and prevention measures.”

The American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month activities include:

  • Kidney Action Day on the Hill – On March 5, the American Kidney Fund will host the first Kidney Action Day of 2014 in the Rayburn House Office Building to encourage Capitol Hill to join the fight against kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund will provide free kidney health screenings, kidney health education and fun fitness activities. Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), Congressional Kidney Caucus Co-Chair and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL), Congressional Kidney Caucus Member, as well as other Members of Congress will participate in the event, along with American Kidney Fund president and chief executive officer, LaVarne A. Burton. The event is free and open to the public

    Additionally, 13 patient-advocates from the American Kidney Fund’s Advocacy Network, which includes more than 3,200 kidney patients and caregivers, will meet with their Congressional representatives on March 5 to share personal stories of living with kidney disease or caring for a loved one who has kidney disease. They will highlight key policy issues such as maintaining access to quality care for people living with kidney failure, the importance of providing lifetime immunosuppressive drug coverage for kidney transplant patients and the importance of adequate funding for the Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program. Advocates will also urge lawmakers to increase federal support for institutions and organizations engaged in kidney disease research, education and prevention efforts.
  • Kidney Health Screenings and Education – In March the American Kidney Fund kicks off its annual program of nationwide free kidney health screenings and education sessions. Events will take place this month in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Richmond, Va.
  • Kidney Month Online Resources – The American Kidney Fund website will feature a special page dedicated to National Kidney Month, including a series of “Kidney Monday” articles with tips to maintain kidney health and important information about kidney disease.
  • Kidney Today Blog – Kidney Today, the official blog of the American Kidney Fund, will feature a special National Kidney Month blog series that shares inspiring stories from patients living with kidney disease. The blog will also provide useful health information including questions to ask your doctor during your next visit to monitor your kidney health.
  • Calendar Kids Cover Art Contest – Thirteen finalists in the American Kidney Fund’s 19th annual Calendar Kids Art Contest will compete for the distinguished honor of gracing the 2015 calendar cover. Online voting for the winner will begin on March 10. The child whose artwork receives the most votes will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored at the American Kidney Fund’s annual gala, The Hope Affair. All 13 children who are named finalists will receive prizes and have their artwork published in the 2015 calendar.

For more information about the American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month activities, visit www.kidneyfund.org.

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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, more than 87,000 people—1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. The American Kidney Fund reaches millions of people annually through its national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease; free kidney health screenings; health education materials and courses; online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.

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