American Kidney Fund Fights Kidney Disease in Chicago With Its 5th Annual Kidney Action Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Free event aims to educate the public about kidney disease risks and prevention, offers health screenings and healthy cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Judson Todd Allen

CHICAGO (August 8, 2016) – More than half of the 29,000 Illinois residents living with kidney failure live in Cook County, and many more Chicagoans are at risk for the disease. To help address this serious health issue, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) will provide free health screenings and raise awareness of the causes and risk factors of kidney disease at Kidney Action Day® on Wednesday, August 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza.

For the fifth year, Chicago area residents can take charge of their health at AKF’s Kidney Action Day. Kidney disease has no symptoms in the early stages, and testing is the only way to know how well your kidneys are working. Kidney Action Day is a free, family-friendly event that will bring together Chicago residents, public officials, patient-advocates and community health resources. The event is open to the public and is sponsored by American Renal Associates and U.S. Renal Care, Inc.

“Kidney disease affects so many in the Chicago area and Kidney Action Day lets residents take action to do something about it,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 31 million Americans with kidney disease. “We invite residents to join us at Daley Plaza on August 10th to get a free kidney health screening to learn if they are at risk for this largely preventable disease and how they can protect their kidney health.”

Kidney Action Day will feature free health screenings by medical professionals to check for indicators of kidney disease including blood pressure, glucose and kidney function. The event will also include activities aimed at educating the public about kidney disease risks and prevention including health education, fitness sessions, family-friendly entertainment and community health resources. A healthy cooking demonstration by Food Network celebrity Chef Judson Todd Allen, the “Architect of Flavor,” will provide cooking tips and show attendees how to make simple, healthful foods.

“The prevalence of diabetes in our society makes kidney care seriously important to all population groups in America, especially so with African Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis, who represents the 7th District of Illinois in Congress. “Kidney Action Day is an outstanding way of promoting awareness about the importance of healthy life styles.” Rep. Davis will speak about kidney disease as a public health issue at Kidney Action Day.

With 1 in 3 Americans at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD), understanding its risk factors and how it can be prevented are crucial to helping protect Chicagoans from this serious condition that can lead to kidney failure. Last year, AKF provided charitable assistance to 2,700 low-income Chicago-area dialysis patients, enabling them to afford treatment-related expenses including health insurance coverage, costs for transportation to lifesaving dialysis treatment, and other expenses not covered by insurance.

At last year’s Chicago Kidney Action Day, AKF provided free health screenings to 275 at-risk people. More than 83 percent of them had elevated blood pressure, close to 50 percent had BMI over a healthy range, and more than 17 percent had elevated blood glucose. The goal of the event is to arm residents with the information so that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it and access the care they need.

Kidney disease is an often-preventable condition. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors include having a family history of kidney disease, being over 60, and being African-American, Asian American, Native American or of Hispanic ethnicity. Left undiagnosed and untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death. However, through regular health screenings, kidney disease can be caught early and managed.

For more information on Kidney Action Day, visit www.kidneyfund.org/chicago.

# # #

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 31 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.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.