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Media Contact: 
Tenee Hawkins 
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing 

For Immediate Release

American Kidney Fund’s Gala, ‘The Hope Affair,’ Celebrates Inspiration in the Fight Against Kidney Disease

Fourth Annual Event Honors Patients and Caregivers, While Raising Funds for Organization’s Programs and Services

WASHINGTON (October 18, 2012)— The American Kidney Fund’s fourth annual national gala, The Hope Affair, on Wednesday night celebrated three inspirational individuals whose lives have been impacted by kidney disease. The event, themed “All Things Are Possible,” was held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and brought together over 300 guests from across the renal community.

The Hope Affair raised more than $717,000 for the programs and services of the American Kidney Fund, the nation’s leading source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients and a leader in providing education and prevention outreach to those who are at risk of the disease.

“The Hope Affair provides the American Kidney Fund with the opportunity to bring advocates together and celebrate inspiring individuals throughout the kidney community,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “We are so grateful to everyone who joined us for this special evening. The funds raised through this event are critical to our mission of helping the millions of patients living with chronic kidney disease.”

The evening’s keynote speaker was Alan Hobson, Mount Everest climber and cancer survivor. In his address to guests, he spoke about how he learned to thrive after his battle with an aggressive blood cancer and how his survival tactics can help patients living with kidney disease. For the second year in a row, Shawn Yancy, Washington’s FOX 5 news anchor, served as the evening’s emcee.

A special highlight of The Hope Affair was a tribute to the evening’s three honorees. They were each recognized for their inspirational achievements in the fight against kidney disease. The honorees include: Eric Dolby, Sr., “Hero of Hope” Award; Debbie Nutt, “Caregiver of the Year” Award; and Amelia Rowniewski, “Calendar Kids Cover Artist” Award.

American Renal Associates is The Hope Affair’s 2012 Platinum level sponsor.  Diamond level sponsors are Affymax, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, U.S.A., Inc.; Amgen; and Sanofi Renal.

“American Renal Associates is very proud to support the American Kidney Fund and we are delighted to be a part of The Hope Affair,” said Event Chair Joseph Carlucci, the chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of American Renal Associates. “This special evening shined a bright spotlight on kidney disease, the courageous patients and caregivers battling renal disease, and the critical role of this caring industry. We congratulate each of this year’s honorees and applaud them for the example they set within the community.”

Funds raised through The Hope Affair contribute directly to the programs and services provided by the American Kidney Fund. The ninth-leading cause of death in the United States, kidney disease affects an estimated 31 million Americans, with millions more at risk. Last year, the American Kidney Fund provided more than $190 million in direct financial assistance to nearly 90,000 dialysis patients across the nation, and through its national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease, provided 22,000 Americans with a free kidney disease screening in 22 cities nationwide and distributed 2.2 million pieces of educational material.

For more information about the American Kidney Fund, visit

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About the American Kidney Fund

The mission of the American Kidney Fund is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need; health education; and prevention efforts. The American Kidney Fund leads the nation in providing charitable assistance to dialysis patients who need help with the costs associated with treating kidney failure. Last year, 90,000 people—nearly 1 out of every 4 dialysis patients in the United States—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. Millions of people nationwide benefit annually from the American Kidney Fund’s efforts to fight kidney disease through health education and prevention efforts. The American Kidney Fund’s national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease, empowers women to protect themselves—and the people they love—from kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund offers free kidney health screenings in communities nationwide, as well as extensive online health education materials and courses and a toll-free health information HelpLine (866.300.2900).

As a 10-time recipient of the top “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator, the American Kidney Fund is ranked among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide for fiscal accountability. In addition, the American Kidney Fund holds an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy; adheres to the National Health Council Standards of Excellence; and is a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit

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