ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 27, 2020) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced a new financial assistance program for low-income kidney transplant recipients to help them cover the costs of non-invasive blood tests that monitor the health of their transplanted kidney. AKF's Post-Transplant Testing Program will help low-income patients access these innovative tests which can detect early signs of rejection of a transplanted kidney before it happens.
The new AKF program will provide eligible transplant patients — those who have received a kidney transplant within the past 10 years and who have an annual income up to 400% of the federal poverty level--one annual grant up to a maximum of $1,200 to cover their out-of-pocket costs associated with the tests.
Kidney transplant recipients must take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent their immune systems from attacking and damaging their transplant. Even with immunosuppressive regimens, rejection of the organ is always a risk; many kidney transplant rejections occur within the first five to 10 years. Sophisticated blood tests can detect the very earliest signs of rejection or other injury to the transplanted kidney by identifying DNA fragments from the donated organ in the recipient's blood.
"Accurate and early diagnosis of rejection or kidney injury in a transplanted kidney gives clinicians the opportunity to intervene before the damage is severe," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "Our new Post-Transplant Testing Program helps to ensure that low-income patients are not precluded from getting these diagnostic tests if they cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses associated with them."
Grant requests must be submitted through AKF's online Grants Management System at gms.kidneyfund.org by the patient, their designated caregiver or their renal professional.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.