American Kidney Fund Joins Forces With Washington Metropolitan Residents to Fight Kidney Disease

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 General News
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Organization Hosts Free Health Screening Event and Walkathon to Raise Awareness in at Risk Community


1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host its Kidney Action Day, which includes the Steps that Count fundraising walkathon, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Saturday,
June 11, 2011
from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.  This free event is open to the public and will bring together hundreds of local health advocates, patients and members of the community to raise awareness of kidney disease and funds for programs and services that help those at risk.

It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of CKD. Left undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death.

"Parts of Washington, D.C., have rates of kidney failure more than double the national average," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund. "Our hope is that through Kidney Action Day we will empower community members to take charge of their health."

CKD, known as a silent killer because it typically has no visible symptoms, is an often-preventable health condition. If an individual has developed early CKD, detection through testing is a key factor in slowing or stopping the progression of the disease.

In addition to incorporating a fundraising walkathon around Nationals Park, Kidney Action Day is designed to educate those at risk of CKD about prevention and lifestyle choices that can help to ward off kidney disease. From 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., walkers and members of the public are invited to participate in free health screenings, healthy food samples, cooking and fitness demonstrations, and other family-friendly activities to increase awareness of kidney disease. The free health screenings will check for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes, and other important health measures.  The screening takes just 15 minutes and is available to those 18 and older.

Kidney Action Day Schedule of events:

  • 8 – 9 a.m., Walk registration and check-in
  • 9 a.m., Steps that Count walk begins
  • 8 a.m.2 p.m., Free screenings and education
  • 10 a.m.2 p.m., Cooking and fitness demos, and fun family activities

"In addition to generating increased awareness, the event will raise funds that will allow us to continue providing critical resources that aid in prevention programs and services for those most at risk," explained Burton.

The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to fighting kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In 2010, AKF provided $209 million in assistance to dialysis patients across the country and more than $24 million to patients in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia, helping patients to maintain their health insurance coverage and to pay other treatment-related expenses that insurance does not cover. The organization also conducted 13,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States, with more than 2,600 screenings administered locally.

For more information on Kidney Action Day and the Steps that Count walk, visit

For more information on the American Kidney Fund, 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. The American Kidney Fund leads the nation in providing charitable assistance to dialysis patients who need help with the costs associated with treating kidney failure. Last year, 101,000 people—1 out of every 4 dialysis patients in the United States—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. Millions of people nationwide benefit annually from the American Kidney Fund's efforts to fight kidney disease through public awareness campaigns, free health screenings, health education materials and courses, online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900).

As a nine-time recipient of the top "Four Star" rating from Charity Navigator, the American Kidney Fund is ranked among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide for fiscal accountability. In addition, the American Kidney Fund 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

SOURCE American Kidney Fund

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