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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 to Pair Up With Augusta Residents at Regional Health Event to Fight Kidney Disease on June 29

Organization Offers Health Screening Event to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease in at-Risk Community

AUGUSTA, GA (June, 24, 2013) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host Kidney Action Day at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Augusta, GA on Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.  The free event, the fourth Kidney Action Day in the nation this year, is open to the public and will bring together hundreds of local health advocates, patients and members of the community to raise awareness for kidney disease.

Kidney Action Day is designed to educate those at risk for chronic kidney disease (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., local residents are invited to participate in free health screenings, healthy food samples, fitness demonstrations, and other activities to increase awareness of kidney disease. The free health screenings 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 the screening and other activities.

This year, the organization will ask attendees to make the Pair Up Promise, part of the American Kidney Fund’s national public awareness campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease. The Pair Up Promise is a pledge to pursue a healthy lifestyle and prevent kidney disease based on three simple actions: adding healthier lifestyle choices; subtracting things that are not healthy and can contribute to kidney disease; and spreading the word to others.

"Raising awareness about chronic kidney disease by promoting screening and education is an important part of the American Kidney Fund’s mission, especially in the Augusta metropolitan area, where kidney disease rates are above the national average," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "We’re expecting hundreds of local residents to Pair Up with us and take advantage of the free health screenings and educational information available at Augusta Kidney Action Day.”

It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with 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 age 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.

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 Pair Up campaign urges members of 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 disease 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 2012, AKF provided nearly $180 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country, including more than $308,000 to patients in Augusta. The organization also conducted 27,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States.

Kidney Action Day is made possible through the generous support of National Sponsor American Renal Associates, Lead Regional Sponsor U.S. Renal Care, Inc., and other friends in the communities AKF serves.

Upcoming Kidney Action Days for 2013 are: San Antonio on October 5, Atlanta on November 2, and Houston on November 17. AKF held Kidney Action Days in Philadelphia on May 3, Chicago on May 11, and Metro Washington, D.C. on June 22.

For more information on Kidney Action Day, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-action-day/locations/augusta.html

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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