Press release

Tropical Storm Barry Expected to Disrupt Dialysis Treatment for Gulf Coast Residents; American Kidney Fund Activates Disaster Relief Program to Help

ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 12, 2019) –As Tropical Storm Barry begins lashing the Louisiana coast with up to 20 inches of rain expected, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) today activated its Disaster Relief Program to provide emergency financial assistance to dialysis patients affected by the storm. As residents heed mandatory evacuation orders, many dialysis patients may face expenses related to the storm and getting to treatment, and AKF's program provides emergency funds to help.

Emergency officials fear widespread flooding. Dialysis centers in the region have been working overtime to provide treatment to as many patients as possible who may find their life-sustaining treatment regimens interrupted by flooding, power outages or evacuation. AKF is ready to quickly process emergency grants to help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in the storm.

Any dialysis patient affected by Tropical Storm Barry who needs an AKF disaster relief grant should contact their dialysis social worker for information on applying, or call AKF directly at 800.795.3226. AKF's Disaster Relief Program is the nation's only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities.

"A slow-moving storm like Barry and the resulting flooding can create life-threatening conditions for dialysis patients, who need regular treatment to live, take numerous medications daily and must follow careful diets customized for people with kidney failure," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and chief executive officer. "We were there for New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and we are ready to assist patients in the region dealing with the effects of Barry. Our Disaster Relief Program is a lifeline for the dialysis patients who find themselves in the path of a natural disaster."

AKF's website provides emergency preparedness information for dialysis patients at This page includes information about the 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan for dialysis patients. By following this plan, patients can help reduce waste buildup in their bodies if they have to miss or delay their dialysis treatment.

Extreme weather in recent years has put unprecedented demands on AKF's Disaster Relief Program. For example, in 2017, AKF provided emergency disaster grants totaling nearly $850,000 to more than 3,800 dialysis patients affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and last year provided nearly $300,000 to almost 1,800 patients primarily in the paths of hurricanes Florence and Michael. After Hurricane Katrina, AKF provided $260,000 in emergency grants.

AKF's Disaster Relief Program is funded through donations from individuals, foundations and corporations, and 100 percent of all contributions go directly to the grants for dialysis patients.

Anyone who would like to help dialysis patients affected by this storm or other natural disasters may make a contribution to AKF's Disaster Relief Program.

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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