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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 Pairs Up With San Antonians to Fight Kidney Disease at Free Health Event on October 6 at AT&T Center

Organization Joins with Local Residents to Offer Health Screening Event and Walkathon to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease in At-Risk Community

SAN ANTONIO, TX (Sept. 26, 2013) —The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host its annual Kidney Action Day, which includes a fundraising walkathon, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Sunday, October 6, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public, and will feature remarks from Councilmember Ron Nirenberg, health screenings, entertainment, healthy food samples and the Kidney Action Day Walk. This year’s event will also offer a new component, the Pair Up Promise, as part of the American Kidney Fund’s Pair Up public awareness campaign. Participants can sign the Pair Up Promise and pledge to pursue a healthy lifestyle and prevent kidney disease.

The event will bring together hundreds of local health advocates, patients and members of the community to raise awareness for kidney disease. The funds raised through the Kidney Action Day Walk will support the many programs and services of AKF that provide critical resources to help both at-risk individuals and those living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with CKD, the nation’s ninth-leading cause of death. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of CKD, but there are other major risk factors, including having heart disease, being over 60, and being African American, Asian American, Native American or of Hispanic ethnicity. Left undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death. In San Antonio, the prevalence of CKD is well above the national average.

“The rates of kidney disease in San Antonio and the state of Texas are alarming,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “Education and awareness are vital first steps in reducing one’s risk of developing this devastating disease. We encourage local residents to join us on October 6 to learn their risk and get tested. It’s time for all of us to stand up against kidney disease and spread the word to those around us.”

CKD, known as a silent killer because it typically has no symptoms until the late stages, is an often-preventable health condition. If an individual has developed early CKD, detection through testing is a key factor in slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. Because prevention and early detection are vital to keeping at-risk individuals in good health, AKF’s national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease, urges individuals to learn if they’re at risk for kidney disease and to spread the word to friends or loved ones who also may be at risk. As part of Pair Up, AKF educates the public about risk factors and offers free kidney disease screenings in cities nationwide.

"I commend the American Kidney Fund’s continuous efforts to bring its kidney disease early awareness and education program to San Antonio,” said Shweta Bansal, M.D., with UT Medicine, the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. “Health education is important to us all, and with the prevalence of diabetes, the leading cause of kidney disease, dangerously high in our community, it's time we got serious about fighting this silent killer. I encourage San Antonians to take time on October 6th to visit Kidney Action Day, get screened and learn how to take preventive measures to protect your kidney health.”

Kidney Action Day is designed to educate those at risk for CKD about the leading causes of the disease and the actions they can take to prevent CKD or slow its progression. From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., walkers and the general public are invited to participate in free health screenings, healthy food samples, fitness demonstrations, family-friendly entertainment and other activities. The free health screenings will check for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes, and other important health measures. The health screenings are open to anyone 18 and older, and there is no pre-registration required.

The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to fighting kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In 2012, AKF provided nearly $180 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country and more than $2 million to patients in the San Antonio area. The organization also provided 27,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States, with more than 2,000 screenings administered in San Antonio.

Kidney Action Day in San Antonio is made possible through the generous support of National Sponsor, American Renal Associates; Lead Regional Sponsor, U.S. Renal Care, Inc.; Supporting Sponsors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Valero Energy Foundation; Community Partner, the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council; and other friends in the communities that AKF serves.

Upcoming Kidney Action Days for 2013 are Atlanta on November 4 and Houston on November 17. Earlier this year, AKF held Kidney Action Days in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Augusta, Ga.

For more information on Kidney Action Day, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-action-day/

For more information on the American Kidney Fund, 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, nearly 84,000 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 a toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.

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