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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 Atlantans to Fight Kidney Disease at Free Health Event on November 4 at Underground Atlanta

Organization to Offer Free Health Screening Event to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease in At-Risk Community

ATLANTA (Oct 24, 2013) —The American Kidney Fund (AKF), in partnership with the American Society of Nephrology, will host its annual Atlanta Kidney Action Day at Underground Atlanta on Monday, November 4, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Congressman John Lewis is honorary host of Atlanta Kidney Action Day. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature remarks from the Georgia Department of Public Health, health screenings, entertainment, and healthy food samples. 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 to help prevent kidney disease.

Atlanta Kidney Action Day will kick off the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2013, a gathering of more than 13,000 kidney professionals from across the globe being hosted this year in Atlanta. The world's premier nephrology meeting, Kidney Week provides participants exciting and challenging opportunities to exchange knowledge, learn the latest scientific and medical advances, and listen to engaging and provocative discussions with leading experts in the field.

It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (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 Atlanta, the prevalence of CKD is well above the national average.

“The rates of kidney disease in Atlanta and the state of Georgia 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 November 4 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 raise awareness of kidney disease in Atlanta,” said Jason Cobb, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. “Health education and outreach is critically important as we fight this disease, as it often does not present symptoms until the late stages. I encourage Atlantans to take time on November 4th to attend 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 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., participants are invited to participate in free health screenings, healthy food samples, fitness demonstrations, 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 $1.4 million to patients in the Atlanta area. The organization also provided 27,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States, with more than 2,500 screenings administered in Atlanta.

Kidney Action Day in Atlanta is made possible in partnership with the American Society of Nephrology and through the generous support of National Sponsor, American Renal Associates; Lead Regional Sponsor, U.S. Renal Care, Inc.; State Partner Georgia Department of Public Health; and other friends in the communities that AKF serves.

The final Kidney Action Day of the year will be held Houston on November 17. Earlier this year, AKF held Kidney Action Days in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Augusta, Ga., and San Antonio.

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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