Big Tony & Trouble Funk to Headline Sept. 9 American Kidney Fund KIDNEYNATION™ Fundraising Walk in Washington, D.C.


Walk is part of AKF’s free D.C. Kidney Action Day® event to prevent kidney disease in at-risk communities

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2017) – On Saturday, Sept. 9, hundreds of participants will gather at The Yards Park at the Capitol Riverfront for the American Kidney Fund’s second annual KIDNEYNATION™ Walk. This family-friendly, non-competitive event honors those fighting kidney disease, remembers those we’ve lost, and celebrates the gift of life given through transplants. The American Kidney Fund invests 97 cents of every dollar raised in programs and services that impact the lives of people affected by kidney disease. In 2016, AKF provided kidney health education and free screenings to thousands of D.C.-area residents; provided lifesaving grant assistance to 1,800 metro-area kidney patients who needed financial help to access medical care; and was named a top, four-star charity by Charity Navigator for the 15th consecutive year.

Dr. Keith Melancon, chief of the George Washington Transplant Institute and Medical Director of the GW Ron and Joy Paul Kidney Center, will serve as honorary chair for the 2017 AKF KIDNEYNATION Walk. Multi-platinum artist "Big Tony" Fisher and the world's best go-go band, Big Tony & Trouble Funk, will be performing a free 90-minute concert at the event. Big Tony is a kidney transplant recipient and an advocate for kidney patients.

Walk registration begins at 11 a.m. and the walk takes place at noon. There is no walk registration fee and no fundraising minimum, but participants who raise $50 or more will receive a KIDNEYNATION t-shirt. Online walk registration is now open.

The AKF KIDNEYNATION walk will take place during Kidney Action Day®, AKF’s free community outreach event to prevent kidney disease. Kidney Action Day will run from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Sept. 9, providing free kidney health screenings to the public, along with healthy cooking and fitness activities, entertainment and kids’ activities.

Dr. Melancon is one of the world’s leading kidney transplant surgeons, having twice set the record for the longest kidney transplant chain involving as many as 16 donors and 16 recipients. He is a long-time advocate for minority organ donation and kidney disease prevention in the nation’s capital.

“The KIDNEYNATION Walk will help us focus the region’s attention of the serious public health threat that kidney disease is to this city and the region,” he said. “I’m honored to serve as the walk chair and to encourage residents to join us on September 9 not only for the walk, which raises money for the American Kidney Fund, but also to get a free kidney health screening at Kidney Action Day.”

“Big Tony” Fisher, the founder and leader of Trouble Funk, is no stranger to kidney disease. Last year, he received a kidney transplant after 13 years on dialysis to treat kidney failure caused by high blood pressure. Fisher and Trouble Funk are best known for popularizing funk and the subgenre go-go in the Washington metropolitan area.

“I know firsthand about kidney disease and dialysis. I had high blood pressure for years without knowing it causes kidney disease,” Fisher said. “Since I got a kidney transplant in 2016, I try to give back to the community anytime I can and encourage people to look after their health. I can’t wait to support this great cause and meet everyone who attends Kidney Action Day.”

“We’re grateful to Dr. Melancon, Big Tony and all our partners who are helping us shine a spotlight on kidney disease in the Capital Region and the District of Columbia, where rates of kidney disease and its leading causes far exceed national averages,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund.

Event details:

• Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
• Walk registration: 11 a.m. ǀ Warm-up and walk: noon
• Kidney Action Day free health screenings: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
• The Yards Park at the Capitol Riverfront, 355 Water St. SE, Washington, DC 20003
• Registration: Online registration for the KIDNEYNATION Walk. Walkers may register as individuals, form a team or join an existing team.
• Walk route: approximately one mile around the Yards Park neighborhood
• Prizes: Every walker who contributes or raises $50 will receive a KIDNEYNATION t-shirt; the largest walk team and the top fundraising team will be recognized.
• Trouble Funk concert: 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Kidney Action Day is made possible by grants from Presenting National Screening Sponsors American Renal Associates and U.S. Renal Care, Inc., Regional Sponsors Akebia Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals ARD, and Satellite Healthcare; and Transplant Education Sponsor Novartis.

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.

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