WASHINGTON—The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host Kidney Action Day, which includes a fundraising walkathon, at Grady High School stadium on Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. The general public is invited to participate in free health screenings, healthy food samples, fitness demonstrations, and other activities to increase awareness of kidney disease.
This free, family-friendly event is designed to educate people at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) about the leading causes of the disease and the actions they can take to prevent CKD or slow its progression. Free health screenings will check for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes, and other important health measures. The event will feature remarks from State Senator Nan Orrock and a proclamation from the Atlanta City Council. Funds raised through the Kidney Action Day Walk will support the many programs and services of AKF that provide critical resources in the Atlanta area to help both at-risk individuals and those living with this chronic condition.
"Raising awareness about chronic kidney disease by promoting early screening, education and additional preventative methods are crucial to the American Kidney Fund’s mission, especially in the Atlanta metropolitan area, where kidney disease rates are above the national average," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "We’re expecting hundreds of local residents to Pair Up with us and take advantage of the free health screenings and educational information available at Atlanta Kidney Action Day.”
The AKF has made it a priority to extend its mission of fighting kidney disease by locally promoting the importance of early screening, education, and prevention methods, and provided free kidney health screenings to more than 2,100 Georgia residents last year. Additionally, in 2011, the AKF provided more than $13 million in financial assistance to kidney patients throughout the state of Georgia, with more than $1 million going to patients locally in Atlanta.
It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with CKD, the nation’s ninth-leading cause of death. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of CKD, but there are other major risk factors including having heart disease, being over age 60, and being African American, Asian American, Native American, or of Hispanic ethnicity. Left undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death.
CKD, known as a silent killer because it typically has no symptoms until the late stages, 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. Because prevention and early detection are vital to keeping at-risk individuals in good health, AKF’s national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease, urges the public to learn if they’re at risk for kidney disease and to spread the word to friends or loved ones who also may be at risk. As part of Pair Up, AKF educates the public about risk factors and offers free kidney disease screenings in cities nationwide.
For more information on Kidney Action Day, visit www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-action-day/
For more information on the American Kidney Fund, visit www.kidneyfund.org.