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Tenee Hawkins
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

American Kidney Fund to ‘Pair Up’ with Memphis Residents to Fight Kidney Disease on May 17

Organization Hosts Free Health Screening Event to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease in the Memphis Area

MEMPHIS, TN (May 12, 2014) —The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host Kidney Action Day at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Memphis on Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public and will include free kidney health screenings (including blood pressure), interactive fitness demos, healthy food samples, and local entertainment. 

Kidney Action Day will bring together hundreds of local health advocates, patients and members of the community to raise awareness for those at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). The free health screening will check for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes, and other important health measures. There is no pre-registration required for members of the public 18 and older interested in participating in a screening and other activities.

“The American Kidney Fund is pleased to host Kidney Action Day in Memphis where kidney disease is a serious health concern,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “We’re expecting hundreds of local residents to Pair Up with us and take proactive steps to protect their health and get tested. By helping spread the word about kidney disease to their family and friends, together we may prevent future cases of this chronic condition.” 

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

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 the public 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 health screenings in cities nationwide. 

The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to fighting kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In 2013, AKF provided nearly $203 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country and more than $1.4 million to patients in the Memphis metro area. 

Kidney Action Day is made possible through the generous support of Presenting National Sponsor American Renal Associates and National Sponsor U.S. Renal Care, Inc., and other friends in the communities AKF serves. For more information on Memphis Kidney Action Day, visit

For more information on the American Kidney Fund, visit 

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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, more than 87,000 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

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