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Media Contact: 
Tenee Hawkins 
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing 
404.658.1423 
thawkins@kidneyfund.org

For Immediate Release

American Kidney Fund and Washington Metropolitan Residents ‘Pair Up’ to Fight Kidney Disease on September 8

Organization Hosts Free Health Screening Event and Walkathon to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease in at-Risk Community

WASHINGTON, DC (August 20, 2012) —The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host Kidney Action Day, which includes a fundraising walkathon, at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 9 a.m.–1:30p.m.  This free event, featuring remarks from Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), health screenings, entertainment and food demonstrations, is open to the public and will bring together hundreds of local health advocates, patients and members of the community to raise awareness of kidney disease. Funds raised through the Kidney Action Day Walk will support the many programs and services of AKF that provide critical resources to help both at-risk individuals and those living with this chronic condition.

In addition to the family-friendly fundraising walkathon, 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 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., walkers and the general public 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.

Kidney Action Day Schedule of events:

  • 9 a.m. - Welcome, walk registration and check-in
  • 10:45 a.m. - Walk warm-up
  • 11:00 a.m. - Kidney Action Day Walk begins
  • 12:45 a.m. - Speaking program and awards
  • 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Free screenings and education
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Healthy food and fitness demos, entertainment, and fun family activities

It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with CKD, the nation’s eighth-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.

“The number of Americans impacted by chronic kidney disease is already alarming [31 million], but what is even more shocking is that here in the Washington, D.C., metro area, rates of kidney disease are above the national average,” said LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund. “The best defense we can give to at-risk individuals is education and awareness so that this devastating disease can be slowed or avoided altogether, and Kidney Action Day is designed to do just that. We empower participants to learn their risk factors, get tested, and help spread the word to their friends and family.”

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 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 2011, AKF provided nearly $190 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country and more than $15 million to patients in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. The organization also conducted 22,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States, with more than 3,500 screenings administered locally.
 
For more information on Kidney Action Day, visit 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 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, nearly 90,000 people—almost 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 health education and prevention efforts. The American Kidney Fund’s national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease, empowers women to protect themselves—and the people they love—from kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund offers free kidney health screenings in communities nationwide, as well as extensive online health education materials and courses and a toll-free health information HelpLine (866.300.2900).

As a 10-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.

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