American Kidney Fund extends disaster relief assistance to dialysis patients affected by Northern California wildfires


ROCKVILLE, Maryland (October 13, 2017)—In response to reports of dialysis patients and clinics affected by the deadly wildfires in Northern California, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced it is accepting requests for emergency disaster relief grants from dialysis patients in the region.

The wildfires have already claimed dozens of lives, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and forced the evacuation of more than 25,000 residents. AKF has begun receiving reports of dialysis patients who have lost their homes and others who are temporarily living in shelters. AKF’s Disaster Relief Program provides rapid-response emergency assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities, helping them replace medications, food and household items, and pay for essentials such as the cost of fuel or transportation to dialysis treatment. 

Northern California dialysis patients affected by the wildfires who need an AKF emergency grant should contact a social worker at their dialysis center for information on applying, or call the American Kidney Fund directly at 1.800.795.3226.

Already this year, AKF’s Disaster Relief Program has provided over $500,000 in emergency grants to more than 2,400 dialysis patients affected by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey—and new requests for aid from patients affected by those storms continue to come in. AKF is actively fundraising for its Disaster Relief Program with the goal of providing assistance to every dialysis patient who needs it. So far, the organization has raised $365,000 from a combination of generous donations from individuals, employee/member giving campaigns, and corporations, foundations and associations, and is supplementing the fund with its own resources.  One hundred percent of all donations to the Disaster Relief Fund goes directly to patients in need, and donors may designate whether they wish to allocate their donations to help with a specific natural disaster or to the area of greatest need.

“The speed with which the fires in Northern California are spreading makes the situation for dialysis patients especially precarious, as there is little or no time to prepare in advance for an evacuation,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “Our staff is in contact with facilities and patients in the affected areas and we are working to expedite every request for aid that we receive.”

AKF is updating its website with additional information resources for dialysis patients affected by the wildfires, including a list of dialysis clinic hotlines; links to FEMA and Red Cross resources; and information about finding open pharmacies and other resources. Patients may find this information at

Charity Navigator has included AKF on its list of highly rated charities that are providing aid to survivors of Maria, Irma and Harvey, and AKF has been cited by National Public Radio, the New York Times and USA Today as a trusted source of disaster relief for dialysis patients. 

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF’s Disaster Relief Program has been a lifeline of critically needed assistance for dialysis patients for many years, helping people in the aftermath of the nation’s most devastating disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Sandy, Matthew and many more.

AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar.

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