As National Kidney Month draws to a close, I’d like to take a moment to put the spotlight on the American Kidney Fund’s efforts to educate the public about kidney health.
In a national survey we conducted last year, we learned that a very large majority of Americans do not know that diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease. This was true even among people who have loved ones with those conditions.
That’s one of the main reasons we launched our national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease. Pair Up encourages people to take two simple actions: learn if they are at risk for kidney disease, and then spread the word to loved ones who may be at risk. So far, more than 20,000 people have taken the Pair Up Challenge on the campaign website to learn about the risk factors for kidney disease.
To kick off National Kidney Month, we took the Pair Up message to Capitol Hill, partnering with patient-advocates to educate members of Congress about kidney disease and how it can be prevented.
Our Health Initiatives team held outreach and screening events in eight cities during National Kidney Month, screening more than 1,000 people. Our screening programs really are the front line in the fight against kidney disease; I encourage you to get screened for kidney disease, either at one of our screening events or at your next doctor’s appointment.
Earlier this month, we announced the 13 winners of our 17th annual Calendar Kids Art Contest, and are wrapping up our online voting for the cover art winner. We are always so inspired by the artwork we receive from pediatric kidney patients, and selecting the winners is always a daunting task! I hope you’ll take a moment now to help us choose the cover winner by voting on our website.
Spotlight on Health: The Link Between Diabetes and Kidney Disease
Did you know almost half of all cases of kidney disease are caused by diabetes? (High blood pressure is the second-leading cause.) A special diet, exercise and medicines can help manage diabetes and prevent complications.
The American Kidney Fund kicked off National Kidney Month with a series of events designed to focus members of Congress on kidney disease prevention and the issues facing kidney patients. Ten AKF patient-advocates joined us in Washington for meetings with their Congressional representatives, a Congressional breakfast, and Kidney Action Day on the Hill. AKF celebrity health champion Laila Ali helped introduce the Pair Up campaign to the legislative community. Watch a slideshow of the event.
National Kidney Month traditionally kicks off the American Kidney Fund’s health screening season, and this year AKF was able to screen more than 1,000 people during the month of March! AKF health screenings help identify individuals who may be at risk for kidney disease. AKF screenings may check blood pressure, blood glucose and/or kidney function; check our website for details.
More than 5,000 votes have already been cast, but it’s not too late to get your vote in! Thirteen pediatric kidney patients who entered our Calendar Kids Art Contest will have their artwork featured in our 2013 calendar, and an online contest will decide the cover winner. Vote today—the contest closes March 30. All 13 children will receive great prizes, and the cover winner will win a trip to Washington, D.C., to be honored at the American Kidney Fund’s annual gala, The Hope Affair.
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ADA Focus - Stop Diabetes Cobb Galleria Two Galleria Pkwy. | Atlanta, GA 30339 (map) Tests available: blood pressure, glucose, kidney function (eGFR) Contact: Noni Walker | 404.658.1422 Download Flyer
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Aurora African American Health Fair West Aurora High School 1201 West New York St. | Aurora, IL 60506 (map) Tests available: glucose, urine test and blood pressure Contact: Gatanya Arnic | 312.750.1638 Download Flyer
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ADA Diabetes Expo 2012 – San Antonio Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | Hall B/Bridge Hall | Booth 314 200 E. Market St. | San Antonio, TX 78205 (map) Test available: finger-stick kidney function (creatinine & eGFR) Contact: Janis Contreras | 301.984.5053 Download Flyer
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. American Diabetes Association Expo McCormick Place, Lakeside Center 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. | Chicago, IL 60616 (Parking in Lot C)(map) Tests available: Full kidney screening Contact: Gatanya Arnic | 312.750.1638 Download Flyer