Press release

Memphis Fights Kidney Disease at American Kidney Fund's Kidney Action Day

ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 11, 2019) –Hundreds of Memphians took action for their health at the American Kidney Fund (AKF)'s Kidney Action Day® in Memphis on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Handy Park. AKF provided more than 100 free health screenings to visitors, checking for diabetes and high blood pressure, the two leading causes of kidney disease, as well as testing their kidney function. This was AKF's fourth Kidney Action Day in Memphis.

In addition to the free health screenings, Kidney Action Day was jam-packed with entertainment, kidney disease education, and cooking and fitness demonstrations. Ms. EKlass, host of the midday show on Memphis' 103.5 WRBO, was the energetic emcee for the event, while Chef Chris Beavers taught the crowd how to prepare kidney-friendly recipes with a Memphis flair. Entertainment included the renowned Elvis impersonator Brian Lee Howell, a returning favorite to Kidney Action Day, and local musician Courtney Little. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Memphis City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad (District 9-1) and Councilman J. Ford Canale (District 9-2) encouraged residents to get tested for kidney disease and learn how to prevent it.

More than 37 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but the vast majority of them are unaware of it. In Greater Memphis, more than 5,000 people are living with kidney failure — and more than 4,000 of them rely on dialysis to stay alive. African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans — who, combined, make up over 54% of the population of Greater Memphis — are at increased risk for kidney disease and kidney failure, but public awareness of the disease is low.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease and learning to control these underlying conditions is key to preventing kidney disease or keeping it from getting worse. Over 13% of Tennesseans have been diagnosed with diabetes and over 36% with high blood pressure — both higher than the national average.

"Kidney disease is a serious health issue in Memphis, and together we can make a difference in fighting kidney disease through education at outreach events like Kidney Action Day," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "By attending Kidney Action Day, local residents took proactive steps to protect their health and prevent kidney disease. At AKF, we want to help all people avoid kidney disease, and if they have it, we want to help them find it early so they can be empowered to slow down or stop its progression to kidney failure."

Kidney Action Day is the signature outreach event in AKF's Know Your Kidneys™ program, the nation's largest free kidney health screening program. Kidney Action Day is held in cities across the country where rates of kidney disease are higher than the national average. Through Know Your Kidneys, AKF provided free health screenings to more than 11,000 people in 23 cities nationwide last year.

Memphis Kidney Action Day was made possible through the generous support of National Presenting Sponsors Satellite Healthcare and U.S. Renal Care, and National Screening Partner AnyLabs.

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. 

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