Press release

Kidney Community Loses a Great Friend and Powerful Advocate in Elijah Cummings

ROCKVILLE, Md. (Oct. 17, 2019)American Kidney Fund (AKF) president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton issued the following statement upon learning of the death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings earlier today:

"The kidney community today lost a great friend and champion in Congressman Elijah Cummings. We were saddened to learn of his death and are grateful for his dedication to increasing awareness and working to turn the tide of kidney disease in the African American community.

"As a resident of the Congressman's district, I am keenly aware of the great work he did for those he represented in Congress and his unwavering quest for justice.

"In his roles as a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and longtime member of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, Congressman Cummings advocated for patient rights and increased funding for research on kidney disease, which affects African Americans disproportionately. He supported our advocacy efforts, including our congressional briefings on Capitol Hill, and our work to raise awareness in his district by providing free kidney health screenings to his constituents at health fairs and conferences. He was always ready with encouraging words about our lifesaving work and efforts in kidney disease prevention and early detection.

"Earlier this month, his office generously arranged a tour of the Capitol for a group of pediatric kidney patients from the Baltimore area who were guests at our annual gala, The Hope Affair.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Congressman's wife and family, and to all his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will be missed greatly."

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.

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