WASHINGTON—Hundreds of metro Washington, DC residents joined the American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) Kidney Action Day and Walkathon on Saturday, September 8th to raise awareness about kidney disease. The free event, which was held at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD, included a fundraising walkathon, remarks from Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), health screenings, entertainment and food demonstrations. More than 500 local health advocates, patients and members of the community participated in the event designed to raise awareness of kidney disease in the Washington, DC region, which has kidney disease rates that are twice the national average.
Led by emcee Olivia Fox, radio personality and recent transplant recipient, Kidney Action Day 2012 raised awareness and funds to support the many programs and services of AKF that provide critical resources to help both at-risk individuals and those living with this chronic condition. Additionally, hundreds of local residents received free health screenings that checked for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures.
“We had a very strong turnout this year for Kidney Action Day, with more than 500 community residents participating in the activities throughout the day, and half of those individuals received a free health screening to learn if they are at risk of kidney disease, ” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the AKF. “This is an event we look forward to every year as we are able to generate greatly needed awareness of kidney disease, while at the same time raising funds to support the American Kidney Fund’s programs and services.”
The AKF is dedicated to fighting kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, education and prevention efforts. In 2011, AKF provided nearly $190 million in treatment-related assistance to dialysis patients across the country and more than $15 million to patients in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The organization also conducted 22,000 free health screenings to at-risk individuals in the United States, with more than 3,500 screenings administered locally.