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American Kidney Fund Raises Awareness, Honors Kidney Heroes during National Kidney Month

Today, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) kicked off its annual celebration of National Kidney Month with initiatives designed to raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of prevention and early detection.

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) March 1, 2010 -- Today, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) kicked off its annual celebration of National Kidney Month with initiatives designed to raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of prevention and early detection.

AKF’s observance will include kidney disease prevention events in select cities; an advocacy day on Capitol Hill; a new Kidney Heroes podcast series; and an interactive National Kidney Month webpage.

“This year, my vision is that we truly ‘celebrate’ National Kidney Month, by honoring people who make a difference for kidney patients; sharing health information and tips; bringing together kidney patient advocates; and reaching out to broader audiences with our prevention messages,” said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “It is important for people to know that kidney disease is common and can be prevented.”

The American Kidney Fund’s mission is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need; health education; and prevention efforts. AKF’s initiatives, programs and events during the month of March will help to further the organization’s outreach to all Americans who are at risk of, or living with, kidney disease—our nation’s ninth leading cause of death.

  • Prevention Matters – Through AKF’s Minority Intervention and Kidney Education (MIKE) program, the organization will offer free kidney health screenings, education and risk assessments in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C. In Chicago, AKF has partnered with the Thapelo Institute for a special screening and education event on March 13 that includes a launch of AKF’s annual public awareness radio ad campaign. Through the public awareness radio campaign, AKF will alert the public that diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure and will encourage people to know their risks and get tested.

  • Advocacy on Capitol Hill –In partnership with other organizations in the kidney care community, AKF will host a group of patient advocates to increase kidney disease awareness on Capitol Hill. On March 11, World Kidney Day, AKF Advocates will participate in meetings with their respective members of Congress to discuss their experiences living with kidney disease and to advocate for prevention initiatives.

  • New Webpage - AKF has created a new webpage to keep the public involved during National Kidney Month. The page includes health tips and will be updated throughout the month of March with new information, videos, and podcasts. The public may also join the National Kidney Month conversation on AKF’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

  • Kidney Heroes Podcast Series – Today, AKF launched its Kidney Heroes podcast series, which honors people who are making a difference in the fight against kidney disease. The premiere podcast in the series is an interview with 17-year-old Kodey Weir, a winner of AKF’s 2010 Calendar Kids Art Contest. Listeners will hear Kodey’s inspirational story about juggling high school, a love for sports and living with kidney disease.

For more information about the American Kidney Fund’s National Kidney Month celebration, visit

About the American Kidney Fund:
The mission of the American Kidney Fund is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need; health education; and prevention efforts. As the nation’s No. 1 source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients, the American Kidney Fund helps more than 1 out of every 5 dialysis patients. In 2009, AKF provided charitable grants totaling nearly $155 million to more than 87,000 dialysis patients in all 50 states. The American Kidney Fund reaches tens of thousands of individuals each year with information about kidney health; operates a kidney disease screening program targeting high-risk populations; and maintains a toll-free HelpLine (866-300-2900) which provides education about kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund is a seven-time recipient of the highest “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator; holds an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy; adheres to the National Health Council Standards of Excellence; and is a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Tenee M. Hawkins
Director of Communications


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