ROCKVILLE, Maryland, Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In celebration of Kidney Month this March, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is focusing its efforts to empower, fight for and honor women affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD). AKF is taking the focus of this year’s World Kidney Day, which falls on March 8—International Women’s Day—and extending it in a month-long effort to raise awareness that kidney disease affects women differently and at a greater rate than it does men.
“Kidney disease is a silent killer that disproportionately affects women who are often the primary caregivers for loved ones with the disease, are more likely to become living donors but less likely to receive a transplant, and are at higher risk for CKD,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of AKF. “Because women with kidney disease may also face other health issues, including infertility, pregnancy complications, bone disease and depression, AKF is using Kidney Month to let women know we are here to support them and to provide resources that will answer their questions and concerns.”
To enhance understanding of kidney disease, the AKF adopted the theme of Empower, Fight and Honor, which will be supported by a series of activities throughout March.
More than 30 million Americans are living with CKD, but 96 percent of those with early kidney disease don’t know they have it because CKD typically has no symptoms until the kidneys are beginning to fail. AKF provides resources to empower individuals to:
• Gain kidney knowledge and learn the facts about kidney disease with an informational quiz;• Learn if they are at risk for kidney disease with free, local health screenings through AKF’s Know Your Kidneys™ program;
• Become a Kidney Health Coach by taking a free training course;
• Spread the word on social media to connect others with the Empower. Fight. Honor. message;
• Learn more about pregnancy and kidney disease during a free March 7 webinar with Jessica Tangren, M.D., a nephrologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and AKF’s Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellow.
With nearly half a million Americans depending on dialysis to stay alive and about 97,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, AKF and its Advocacy Network will focus on how public policy can affect access to treatment and protect the rights of living organ donors:
• On March 7-8, AKF’s eighth-annual Capitol Hill Fly-in will bring more than 20 advocates to the nation’s capital for training and meetings with elected officials on issues important to patients living with kidney failure, including the Living Donor Protection Act and the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act.
• Working with Members of Congress who are champions for addressing kidney disease, AKF will host a Capitol Hill briefing on March 8 focused on women and kidney disease.
• Supporters can sign the online pledge to fight for people affected by kidney disease.• Individuals who wish to contact their members of Congress to ask them to support legislation important to kidney patients can send Action Alerts through AKF’s website.
Whether donations are made to honor a woman fighting kidney disease or in memory of a lost loved one, all contributions directly benefit individuals battling kidney disease. A gift to AKF supports the care adults and children need.
“Kidney Month is an important time to discuss risk and prevention. This year’s special focus on women sheds light on the experiences they have as living donors, caregivers or individuals living with the disease,” Burton said. “We’re proud to honor them and all kidney patients as we work to provide support and advocate for policies that improve their lives.”
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. For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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CONTACT: Alice Andors American Kidney Fund 240-292-7053 firstname.lastname@example.org