American Kidney Fund Prepares for Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief and Helps Hundreds of Dialysis Patients Affected by Harvey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (September 8, 2017) —The nonprofit American Kidney Fund (AKF) is preparing to provide emergency disaster relief to dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Irma, while continuing to  help hundreds of patients devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

To date, AKF has distributed $102,000 to 435 patients at 68 different dialysis clinics in Texas. Patients whose homes have been damaged or destroyed are using the AKF grants for emergency needs. About 55 percent of patients are using AKF assistance to replace lost clothing and household items. One-quarter of the patients are using the funding for temporary housing and transportation to dialysis. Another 20 percent have used AKF funding to pay for food and medicine. AKF continues to receive many new disaster relief applications daily from dialysis patients in Texas. At the same time, AKF has begun accepting contributions to support patients affected by Hurricane Irma.

AKF has raised a total of $120,000 so far from generous individuals and corporations, and has set a preliminary goal of raising $250,000 to help the dialysis patient community through the aftermath of both hurricanes. Individuals wishing to contribute to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program may visit kidneyfund.org/hurricane, where they may designate whether their contribution should go to relief for Harvey, Irma, or either. One hundred percent of contributions will go to dialysis patients affected by the hurricanes.

“These two hurricanes are posing an unprecedented challenge to the entire country, but the generous donations we are receiving from hundreds of individuals across the country, as well as from corporations, remind us of the incredible compassion that exists for people with kidney failure who are living through this disaster while, at the same time, trying to continue regular dialysis treatment to survive,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “People are giving whatever they can afford—whether it is $5, $500, or more—and we are very quickly sending that money back out the door to dialysis patients who are experiencing incredible need. Every dollar makes a difference.” 

AKF has received generous disaster relief donations from Amgen Foundation, Alliant Healthcare, American Renal Associates, American Society of Nephrology, DaVita, Keryx, National Renal Administrators Association, OPKO and U.S. Renal Care.

Any dialysis patient in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico who needs hurricane relief may speak to the social worker at their dialysis clinic for information on how to apply for AKF assistance, or may call AKF at 1.800.795.3226 for information.

“The American Kidney Fund will be prepared to assist dialysis patients in additional states as needed,” said Burton. “We hope to be able to provide assistance to every dialysis patient who needs our help in the aftermath of both these terrible storms. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to our Disaster Relief Program, and we continue to ask people to help these patients in need. Your generosity is deeply appreciated by the patients we serve.”

In addition to providing disaster relief, AKF has been coordinating with the Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition to make patients aware of resources that are available to prepare for disaster and cope with the aftermath. These include a locator for open Red Cross shelters; a three-day emergency diet plan; and a real-time website listing pharmacies that are open.

AKF reminds dialysis patients to call the following hotlines to learn whether a dialysis clinic is open or closed.

·         DaVita: 800.400.8331

·         Fresenius: 800.626.1297

·         DCI: 866.424.1990

·         DCI Donor Hotline/Transient Patients: 800.969.4438

·         DSI: 877.374.3375

·         ARA: 888.880.6867

·         RAI: 800.403.2530

·         U.S. Renal Care: 866.671.8772

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 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. AKF’s Disaster Relief Program has been a lifeline of critically needed assistance for dialysis patients for many years, helping people in the aftermath of the nation’s most devastating disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Sandy, Matthew and many more.

AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar.

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