March as Kidney Disease Awareness Month in US

Empower & Inspire: Spread Health & Wellness

The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is pleased to recognize March as National Kidney Disease Awareness Month. Recent research funded by the National Institute of Health put the number of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients in the United States at 26 million. AAKP recognizes National Kidney Disease Awareness Month with several planned educational programs and events.

AAKP is kicking off the month honoring National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star and center for Miami HEAT Alonzo Mourning. AAKP will present Mourning with the Life Membership Award during the half time show of the Miami HEAT basketball game verses the Toronto Raptors taking place March 5 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla. Earlier in the day, AAKP hosts a CKD breakfast forum for South Florida healthcare workers entitled, Managing Multiple Conditions: The Chronic Kidney Disease Connection. The breakfast forum is sponsored by Ortho-Biotech Products, L.P. Mourning is speaking at the breakfast forum, sharing his kidney diagnosis experience, and encouraging area physicians to discuss with their patients the risks associated with CKD.

AAKP is also teaming up with Baxter to promote the Take 2 Tell Five campaign. Take 2 Tell Five challenges African Americans in cities with large populations of CKD patients to take two minutes to get tested for kidney disease and tell five other friends and loved ones to do the same. African Americans have an increased risk of developing kidney failure due to the high rate of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in that minority group.

AAKP Says I Can! winners will be announced Thursday, March 13, World Kidney Day. AAKP received entries from across the country from kidney patients sharing their stories of how they are living productive lives after their kidney disease diagnosis. AAKP Says I Can! is designed to raise awareness about kidney disease, dialysis and AAKP, while at the same time demonstrating that those who require dialysis do more in life than dialyze.

Sunday, March 16, AAKP honors Dr. Todd Ing as the recipient of the 2008 Medal of Excellence Award. The Medal of Excellence is an AAKP recognition program honoring a renal physician for his or her extraordinary skills and devotion in the renal field. The Medal of Excellence Award Dinner is held in conjunction with the Renal Physician’s Association Annual Meeting.

There’s still time to register for the March 20 AAKP HealthLine call titled, Risk Factors for Kidney Disease: Understanding Diabetes and Hypertension. Dr. Eli Friedman, Chief of the Division of Renal Disease at the State University of New York, Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY, and Chairperson of the AAKP Medical Advisory Board, leads this discussion. Call (800) 749-AAKP to register for this conference call.

AAKP is also hosting a Kidney Beginnings: Live program March 30 at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla. Kidney Beginnings: Live is a FREE educational program that educates individuals about the basics of kidney disease and proper kidney care. The programs last approximately three hours and feature presentations given by healthcare professionals. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum setting.

Each week kidney disease patients, family members and healthcare professionals can go to the AAKP Web site,, for a “Tip of the Week.” Tips are geared toward each modality: CKD, end stage renal disease (ESRD), transplant and pediatric patients. This educational information will provide patients with tools necessary to be leaders of their healthcare team, and give caregivers the support needed to care for a chronically ill loved one.

Source: American Association of Kidney Patients, USA

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