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

American Kidney Fund Raises Awareness and Takes Action on Capitol Hill for National Kidney Month

American Kidney Fund Launches Month of Awareness Activities Including Annual Kidney Action Day Program and Capitol Hill Advocacy Event with Legislators

ROCKVILLE, MD (March 4, 2013) – Today, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) announced its calendar of activities celebrating March’s National Kidney Month. The variety of planned events will inform and educate at-risk individuals, members of Congress and professional organizations about kidney disease– the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

AKF’s National Kidney Month initiatives are designed to raise awareness of kidney disease, an often-preventable condition which affects an estimated 31 million Americans and is known as a silent killer because it doesn’t present early symptoms.

“This year, as we continue to celebrate those making a difference in the kidney community and expand our educational efforts, we are excited to launch a new component to our public education campaign, the Pair Up Promise,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “We will be asking individuals from across the country to sign a promise to pursue a healthy lifestyle and spread awareness for kidney disease to others.”

The American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month activities include the following:

  • Kidney Action Day on the Hill – On March 7, AKF will encourage Capitol Hill to fight back against kidney disease by holding its first Kidney Action Day of 2013 in the Rayburn House Office Building. AKF will provide free kidney health screenings, kidney health education and fun fitness activities. Members of the Congressional Kidney Caucus will participate in the event, along with American Kidney Fund President and CEO LaVarne A. Burton. Additionally, 11 patient-advocates from AKF’s Advocacy Network, which includes more than 1,400 kidney patients and caregivers, will meet with their Congressional representatives on March 7 to share their story of living with kidney disease or caring for a loved one who has kidney disease. Each advocate will also focus the discussion with their elected representatives around two key issues: the impact kidney patients may experience as a result of Medicare cuts under sequestration, and the importance of providing lifetime immunosuppressive drug coverage to kidney transplant recipients. Kidney Action Day on the Hill is supported by a sponsorship from GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Pair Up Promise – On March 7, the Pair Up Promise will debut at Kidney Action Day on the Hill and will be included as a special feature at all Kidney Action Day events in 2013. Event participants will be asked to make the Pair Up Promise which will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent kidney disease. During Kidney Action Day on the Hill, Members of Congress will be among the first to take the Pair Up Promise.
  • Kidney Health Screenings and Education – This month, the American Kidney Fund is kicking off its annual program of nationwide free kidney health screenings and education sessions. Events will take place this month in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Charleston, SC. Locations and details are available on the AKF website.
  • Calendar Kids Cover Art Contest – Thirteen finalists in the American Kidney Fund’s 18th annual Calendar Kids Art Contest will compete for the distinguished honor of gracing the cover of AKF’s 2014 calendar. Online voting for the winner will begin on March 15. The child who wins the cover contest will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at AKF’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, this fall. All 13 children who are named finalists will have their artwork published in the 2014 calendar and will receive prizes.

For more information about the American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month activities, 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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