American Kidney Fund Surpasses $200,000 in Emergency Assistance to Dialysis Patients Affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael


American Society of Nephrology and its members provide over $25,000 in donations to help patients

SAN DIEGO (October 23, 2018) – As the community of kidney care professionals convenes for the annual American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week in San Diego, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) today gratefully thanked ASN and its members for their generous support that has helped AKF provide disaster relief assistance to dialysis patients in hurricane-stricken states this fall.

ASN has generously provided $20,000 to help fund AKF’s Disaster Relief Program, and its members have so far donated another $5,000. With the pace of grant requests from states affected by Hurricane Michael accelerating, AKF encourages conference attendees to stop by booth 2528 to learn how they can provide additional support to dialysis patients who need help paying for food, medicine, transportation to dialysis, clothing and personal essentials in the wake of the storm.

“We are hearing from dialysis social workers many heartbreaking stories of patients who have lost everything they own and are struggling to survive,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of AKF. “We expect to continue receiving a high volume of requests for assistance from dialysis patients in the states affected by Hurricane Michael.”

For dialysis patients, getting to their lifesaving treatments is paramount, even amid the chaos in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. Several clinics in the coastal Panhandle are closed, and their patients—many of whom have lost their homes and all their possessions—have had to relocate to find treatment elsewhere. Social workers report that some had not eaten for days, concerned about the buildup of fluids and toxins in their bodies and their ability to get timely dialysis treatment.

“We salute the staff at the clinics who are working overtime and doing all they can to assist displaced patients while continuing to treat all their existing patients,” Burton said. “Events like this bring into sharp focus just how precarious the health and wellbeing of dialysis patients can be.”

So far, AKF has provided nearly $170,000 in emergency grants to 1,000 patients in the path of Hurricane Florence, which left widespread flooding across North and South Carolina. Initial requests for grants for patients affected by Hurricane Michael are coming in as affected patients take stock of their losses in the storm.

In 2017, AKF provided nearly $850,000 in disaster relief grants to more than 3,800 dialysis patients affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, its largest relief effort ever. AKF’s Disaster Relief Program is funded through donations from individuals, foundations and corporations, and 100 percent of all contributions goes directly to the grants for dialysis patients.

AKF is included on Charity Navigator’s list of 4-star charities providing disaster relief for Hurricane Michael. Anyone who would like to help dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Michael or other natural disasters can make a contribution to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent 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 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, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

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