Director of Communications
For Immediate Release
American Kidney Fund’s Annual Gala, The Hope Affair, Celebrates 40 Years Of Caring on October 25 Along with Spokesperson Laila Ali
Third Annual Event Honors Patients, Caregivers, and Nephrologists While Celebrating with Congressional Leaders and Kidney Health Advocates
WASHINGTON (October 17, 2011)— The third annual American Kidney Fund national gala, The Hope Affair, will take place on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The Hope Affair will honor four special individuals, including a kidney patient, a nephrologist, a caregiver and the organization’s “Calendar Kids” Art Contest winner while celebrating AKF’s 40 years of caring with renal industry leaders and policymakers. Washington, DC’s FOX 5 news anchor, Shawn Yancy, will serve as the evening’s emcee.
“We are delighted to bring together the nation’s kidney community for The Hope Affair as we celebrate the American Kidney Fund’s 40th year of caring for kidney patients in need,” said LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund. “This year, we are proud to honor four inspiring individuals who have provided much hope to their local communities. It also gives us great pleasure to share our celebration with Laila Ali, the American Kidney Fund’s celebrity health champion.”
The evening’s honorees are:
- ‘Nephrologist of the Year’ Award: Glenn M. Chertow, MD, MPH, Stanford University School of Medicine
- ‘Calendar Kids Cover Artist’ Award: Danielle Long, Hendersonville, TN
- ‘Hero of Hope’ Award: Corey S. Furman, Selinsgrove, PA
- ‘Caregiver of the Year’ Award: Bernice Strange, Detroit, MI
At The Hope Affair, the American Kidney Fund will introduce its recently launched national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease. Pair Up encourages women to take two simple, yet powerful actions: learn if they’re at risk for kidney disease; and spread the word about kidney disease to loved ones who also may be at risk. The campaign has joined forces with celebrity health champion, Laila Ali, co-host of the new ABC television show Everyday Health.
“Kidney disease is a serious condition that affects as many as 31 million Americans, but often goes undetected. Nine out of 10 people with early kidney disease don’t even know they have it,” said Ali. “I encourage everyone to Pair Up with a friend or loved one, learn your risks and steps you can take to prevent kidney disease – and protect the ones you love.”
Ali will join the organization for the gala and will address attendees about the importance of kidney disease awareness. In addition to Ali, the co-chairs of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), will share remarks with guests.
Chronic kidney disease has few warning signs in its early stages, and can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and death.
For the Americans who are living with kidney failure, survival depends upon dialysis or transplantation. Kidney failure imposes an enormous cost burden on patients and on the nation, accounting for nearly 6 percent of all Medicare spending.
For 40 years, the American Kidney Fund has been dedicated to fighting kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In 2010, AKF provided $209 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country and provided free health screenings to nearly 13,000 individuals in 18 cities nationwide. All proceeds from The Hope Affair will directly support the programs and services of the American Kidney Fund.
The Hope Affair’s 2011 Platinum level sponsor is Amgen, and Fresenius Medical Care is the Diamond level sponsor. Gold level sponsors include American Renal Associates, DaVita, and Sanofi. A full sponsor listing, along with complete details on the event, can be found at www.thehopeaffair.com.
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, 101,000 people—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 public awareness campaigns, free health screenings, health education materials and courses, online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900).
As a nine-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 www.kidneyfund.org.