Press release

American Kidney Fund Expands Rare Disease Initiatives with Education and Awareness Campaign About Fabry Disease

Campaign explores Fabry disease as a cause of unexplained chronic kidney disease and empowers people diagnosed with Fabry to educate family members about genetic link

ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 29, 2020) — Recognizing the unmet needs of the Fabry disease community, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced an education and awareness campaign to increase visibility of Fabry disease and encourage chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who do not know the underlying cause of their kidney disease to get tested for Fabry disease.  The campaign was made possible through a partnership with Sanofi Genzyme, which has been committed to supporting the rare disease community for more than 35 years.

Fabry disease, a rare genetic disorder diagnosed in approximately 1 in 40,000 people, is caused by a mutation of the GLA gene, which results in decreased production of an enzyme that breaks down a fatty substance called globotriaosylceramide, or GL-3. This leads to a buildup of GL-3 in cells throughout the body. Over time, Fabry disease can lead to CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD or kidney failure). It can also cause damage to the heart and brain. Symptoms and severity of Fabry disease can vary from person to person, even within families, and the disease has no cure.

Since Fabry disease is complex and the symptoms are non-uniform, the disease often goes unrecognized or misdiagnosed until patients have life-threatening complications such as stroke, heart attack or kidney failure. With an early diagnosis, doctors can intervene earlier and possibly help delay serious complications.

"For patients with a rare condition like Fabry disease, the road to a diagnosis and proper treatment can be long and painful," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "This partnership with Sanofi Genzyme allows us to expand our educational materials on Fabry disease, increase awareness of the condition, and empower patients with practical guides they can use when discussing their health with their doctors or with their families."

AKF's new Fabry disease campaign uses digital media, including social media, to reach and engage patients. Visitors to AKF's website will find a set of resources tailored to their health status at

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 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. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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