American Kidney Fund, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Partner to Provide Disaster Relief to Youngest Dialysis Patients In Harvey’s and Irma’s Paths
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Society pledges support for current relief efforts as well as future natural disasters
ROCKVILLE, Maryland (September 18, 2017) --The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced it is partnering with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN) to help pediatric kidney patients affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as future natural disasters.
AKF operates a longstanding Disaster Relief Program that is the rapid response system for dialysis patients facing emergency situations. AKF has distributed over $173,000 to more than 750 dialysis patients who were seriously affected by Harvey and Irma. Patients are using AKF assistance to pay for essentials: food, medicine, transportation to dialysis, clothing and household essentials. AKF is working closely with the Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition and the ESRD Networks to ensure dialysis patients are getting access to the resources they need for continuity of care.
Hundreds of individuals, corporations and foundations have so far donated $216,000 to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program, and 100 percent of all donations are being distributed to dialysis patients affected by these two unprecedented hurricanes.
“The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology has demonstrated incredible generosity and concern by partnering with AKF to make funds available to the youngest dialysis patients affected by disaster,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “Living through a natural disaster like this, while also needing to have life-sustaining dialysis treatment three times a week, poses an incredible challenge for dialysis patients of any age, and particularly so for the youngest patients. The need for help is great in Texas, Florida and the surrounding region, and every contribution we receive toward this fund will make a real difference in the life of a pediatric kidney patient.”
“Pediatric nephrologists worked tirelessly to care for children on dialysis affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said ASPN President Larry Greenbaum, M.D., Ph.D. “Pediatric nephrologists also know that families must routinely devote considerable time and financial resources to enable these children to receive lifesaving dialysis treatments. Hence, ASPN is extremely appreciative of AKF working with us to create a fund for patients and families to receive support when they are confronting the additional challenges of a natural disaster.”
AKF sent a small ground team to Texas this week to assess the needs of dialysis patients. The team met with numerous patients who lost everything in the flooding from Harvey. Patients shared their stories of survival and described how assistance from AKF will help them replace essentials and make critical home repairs as they await help from FEMA and other agencies.
Many patients shared with AKF their stories of difficulty reaching life-sustaining dialysis treatment during Harvey. The Coast Guard was called in to assist 33 pediatric dialysis patients who had no other way of getting to Texas Children’s Hospital or Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital to receive dialysis.
“It is difficult to describe the scope of this disaster and its impact on dialysis patients,” said Burton. “Patients will be in need for a long time to come, and we are grateful to ASPN for its efforts to help us reach our disaster relief fundraising goals so that we may respond effectively to the need.”
Updates on AKF’s current disaster relief efforts are on AKF’s blog, Kidney Today.
About the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology is an organization of pediatric nephrologists and affiliated health care professionals. Its primary goals are to promote optimal care for children with kidney disease through advocacy, education and research; and to disseminate advances in clinical practice and scientific investigation. More information can be found at www.aspneph.org.
About the American Kidney Fund
As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF’s Disaster Relief Program has been a lifeline of critically needed assistance for dialysis patients for many years, helping people in the aftermath of the nation’s most devastating disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Sandy, Matthew and many more.
AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar. For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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