Fund to help low-income dialysis and transplant patients
The AKF Coronavirus Emergency Fund is providing grants of $250 to any low-income U.S. or recent kidney transplant patient who is facing emergency needs. Our goal is to assist as many patients as we can. Because the need for assistance far outpaces our available resources, we are currently placing applicants on a waiting list and are providing grants as we raise additional funds.
Dialysis and recently transplanted patients can apply
Dialysis and transplant patients may get more information about applying for AKF emergency grants from their social workers or transplant coordinators. They may also apply on their own behalf by visiting http://gms.kidneyfund.org and filling out a profile in AKF’s grants management system. Patients who are already receiving AKF financial assistance may use their existing AKF grants management system profile to apply.
100% of donations go directly to patients
Your donation allows us to provide patients with emergency assistance for food, transportation, medications and other critical needs. 100% of your donation is going directly to patients, not overhead.
The health crisis in our country is unprecedented, and vulnerable kidney failure patients are facing enormous risks and challenges. They are losing their jobs. They have had to stop using public transit to get to their treatments, incurring costs they cannot afford. Patients with compromised immune systems need help obtaining groceries and other essentials safely. We need to do everything we can to help.
AKF Opens Emergency FundClick here to learn more
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources
Health coverage is a necessity for people with kidney disease, but COVID-19 layoffs and cuts to salaries and working hours mean millions of Americans no longer qualify for their employers’ health insurance benefit.
As some parts of the country are loosening COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, you may be wondering how to stay safe and healthy while also having a connection to the outside world. Katie Pickard, a Satellite Health social worker, shared some reopening advice on our blog.
Communities across the United States are starting to reopen after following stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of coronavirus. People living with kidney disease and transplant recipients are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Even if there is not a rise in COVID-19 cases or deaths where you live, it is still important you take steps to keep yourself and others safe. Download our checklist to help you get started. Click here to download a Spanish version of this guide.
Many of the hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures across the country in early 2020 have come to a screeching halt because of COVID-19. It's not all bad news for kidney patients and living donors awaiting new legislation, though!
Americans of color are in the midst of a perfect storm. Not the good kind of perfect, but the terrible, most awful kind of perfect: bad things colliding and combining into something far bigger and far worse than the sum of its parts.
Find out if COVID-19 cases are falling or rising in your state with this daily tracker from NPR.
Keep track on COVID-19 related restrictions in each state and find out which states are opening with this comprehensive guide from NPR.
It has been extremely challenging at times." Dr. Sagar Nigwekar, a nephrologist and former AKF Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellow, shared how his hospital is handling the increased number of people needing dialysis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AKF Ambassador Patrick Gee had a kidney transplant in 2017. "Three years and a global pandemic later, my life was on the line because of the immunosuppressive medicines I take to stop my body from rejecting my transplanted kidney."
What can Congress and the Trump administration do during the COVID-19 pandemic to help make sure people who don't have health insurance are able to get covered and those who already do are able to keep it? We've laid out seven steps they can take to make that happen.
Since the nation shut down in March, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) has been engaging with policymakers to ensure that the needs of kidney patients are considered in coronavirus emergency orders and legislation.
Rep. Donald Payne a dialysis patient himself, wrote to House leadership requesting emergency financial assistance for dialysis patients in the next COVID-19 relief bill.
Virtual town hall for patients
Join other patients and experts on kidney disease to ask questions and learn about the latest guidance, so you can protect yourself and your family during this difficult time.
Friday, May 15, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Medication assistance programs are offered by pharmaceutical companies to help provide free or lower cost medications to people who cannot afford them. To learn what is available, visit PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) which is a search engine designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs.
With a wealth of information on social distancing, risk factors and guidelines for health facilities, people have learned how to keep themselves safer and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But for those who have had a kidney transplant postponed because of the pandemic, much is still uncertain.
In addition to taking safety measures to protect your health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's also important to protect your personal information and finances from cybercriminals trying to profit from the crisis. Here are some tips for avoiding COVID-19 scams.
During the COVID-19 crisis, you’ll want to be efficient and flexible when shopping for groceries. Here are tips for creating a kidney-friendly pandemic pantry that will allow you to stick to the food and fluid recommendations from your doctor and dietitian.
With the COVID-19 outbreak straining our public health infrastructure, the role of caregivers has never been more vital. We've put together a list of resources to help caregivers keep themselves and the dialysis patients they care for healthy during the pandemic.
Dialysis supplies "have been impossible to find," Ryan, an AKF Ambassador and dialysis patient, shared on our blog. He lives in a COVID-19 hot spot and says the lack of supplies and increased everyday expenses "has a stressful and anxiety-producing effect" on him.
Remote work is a safe way for kidney patients who are high risk for serious cases of COVID-19 to earn an income while quarantined at home. Check out our latest blog post for a list of resources that can help you find and apply for remote jobs.
The IRS has started depositing the COVID-19 stimulus checks into people's bank accounts. Whether you've already received yours or are still waiting, check out our blog for information about the stimulus payments to individuals and families.
We understand that the past few weeks have been overwhelming and full of unexpected challenges for the kidney community. View the recording of our latest webinar for answers to learn more about how COVID-19 affects kidney patients.
Half of Americans rely on their jobs for health insurance, but what if you've recently lost your job because of the COVID-19 pandemic? It is especially important for patients with chronic disease to have health coverage. Find out how you can get covered on our blog.
Staying active during a pandemic can be challenging for people high risk for COVID-19 because they may not want to risk even just to going outside for a walk. Our latest blog post has ways to get some exercise and improve your overall wellness while you're quarantined.
Now that the federal government has passed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, many Americans will receive a stimulus check. According to the legislation, individuals can receive up to $1,200 depending on their income.
Find answers to your coronavirus (COVID-19) questions related to kidney transplants including kidney donation and transplant center operations.
Under normal circumstances, home dialysis gives patients the independence to dialyze on their own schedules in the comfort of their homes. Read why one AKF Ambassador is especially grateful for the opportunity to dialyze at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because so little is known about COVID-19, many people have turned to social media and the internet for answers. Unfortunately, a lot of the information out there is not true. Learn how to tell coronavirus myths vs. facts in our latest blog post.
We’ve received a number of questions from patients around safety with COVID-19 and managing kidney disease. We’ve put together some answers on topics like kidney friendly eating, emergency dialysis and safety resources for patients.
This is a very challenging time, especially for kidney patients who are high risk for COVID-19. If you're struggling with stress and anxiety during this emergency, please know that you are not alone. Here are some tips for improving your mental health during a crisis.
As lawmakers are passing laws and stimulus packages to help our nation during this crisis, you can help make sure they're working toward policies that protect kidney patients at high risk for COVID-19. Learn how to build a relationship with your lawmakers on our blog.
Here is what we know about how coronavirus is affecting the lives of kidney transplant patients and those awaiting transplant surgeries. Information provided by Mike Spigler, VP of Patient Services and Kidney Disease Education.
The Trump administration has temporarily waived telehealth restrictions for Medicare, which means more Medicare patients can access certain health care services from their homes during the Covid-19 crisis. Learn what this means for beneficiaries with kidney disease.
Read our comment letters related to Covid-19.
As we adjust to the new normal of shutdowns during the coronavirus (#COVID19) crisis, many people with kidney disease are wondering how they can safely stick to their food and fluid plans. Our blog has tips for safely ordering groceries and takeout delivery.
Care for the nation’s 500,000 kidney dialysis patients, who routinely undergotreatment while packed together in group settings, is posing an especially difficult problem for physicians and experts planning for the anticipated surge of coronavirus cases. Patients with severe kidney disease, already vulnerable because of their life-threatening illness, are worried that receiving dialysis in large facilities with dozens of other people could expose them to infection.
The American Kidney Fund recognizes that COVID-19 has been overwhelming and unexpected, especially for the kidney community. We would like to take a few moments to address COVID-19 and share some resources and FAQs related to kidney-friendly eating during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Download a list of resources for kidney patients affected by the coronavirus.
Some hospitals are making the difficult decision to postpone kidney transplants in light of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. While this news may be devastating to patients, it’s important to understand the medical reasoning behind these decisions. Learn more.
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) has established a Coronavirus Emergency Fund to provide critically needed financial assistance to low-income U.S. dialysis and transplant patients who are facing unexpected expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. AKF has reallocated $300,000 from its existing budget to provide emergency assistance to patients for food, transportation and medications, and the organization is raising additional funds from the public. 100% of all donations will go directly to patients in need, not overhead.
With the CDC recommending ever more drastic social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and a Trump Administration executive action expanding telehealth services, many dialysis centers are putting in place telehealth (video medical consultations) and telework (for non-medical staff). These measures make a lot of sense in the current, rapidly changing environment brought about by the health emergency our nation is facing.
- When social workers and dietitians consult with patients from home, instead of in the clinic, they do not need to use personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves. This helps ensure that clinics do not run out of these critical supplies which are essential for the doctors, nurses and dialysis technicians who work with patients on the floor.
- This also reduces the potential of exposure to the coronavirus for in-center patients by limiting the number of people they come in contact with at the center.
- Home dialysis patients may be able to avoid their regular visits at their centers and have a video consultation instead, eliminating the need to travel to the center and limiting potential exposure to the virus.
We’ve been talking to nephrologists, transplant surgeons and dialysis clinic personnel to keep up with the unprecedented health crisis our country is facing. Here are five important reminders:
- You must keep going to treatment.
- Be in constant communication with your dialysis center.
- Know the signs of COVID-19 infection and be honest.
- Try to get a supply of medicines and foods.
- Follow the CDC recommendations for hygiene and social distancing.
Learn what precautions should be taken against coronavirus if you have kidney disease, are on dialysis or have had a transplant. Here are some quick recommendations from the CDC on steps you can take to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice while washing your hands—that will ensure you’ve washed them long enough.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who has respiratory symptoms such as a cough or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel sick or have cold-like or flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough, sore throat, headache or body aches.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw used tissues into the trash.
- Clean and disinfect any objects and surfaces that you touch frequently.
If you are a dialysis patient, your underlying health condition(s) can put you at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Here are some questions you can ask the staff at your center so you can remain informed on precautions you can take to stay healthy:
- Can I wait in my car instead of in the waiting room?
- What should I do if I have any flu-like symptoms?
- Can you provide a mask for me to wear during my treatment?
- What procedures do you have in place if you suspect a patient at the center may have COVID-19?
- How will you inform patients of any emergency information?
- Where will I receive dialysis if I get sick?
A roundup of relevant news and annoucements regarding coronavirus:
- The Milken Institute is currently tracking the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 (coronavirus).
- CMS releases elective surgery recommendations for COVID-19 fight
- 'A death sentence': Critically ill patients denied transplants amid coronavirus outbreak
- Trump administration opens up access to telehealth services during coronavirus outbreak
- Dialysis Patient Citizens Education Center, CDC propose ways to safely handle COVID-19
The National Kidney Registry has put together a list of transplant centers and if they're currently performing transplants or have decided to postpone transplants until a later date.
The CDC has put together key considerations for groups that are at high risk for coronavirus, recommendations for health facilities and professionals, and community resources for schools, childcare and travel:
- Interim Additional Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities
- Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Precautions for higher risk populations
- Schools and childcare
- Business and employers
- Community and faith-based leaders
Here are some resources to help you eat healthy during emergencies.