PCRM’s Charity of the Year: The American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund is PCRM’s 1998 Charity of the Year. The Fund provides direct assistance and educational programs for kidney patients, and also allocates research grants aimed at improving the lives of those with kidney disease.
Founded in 1971, the American Kidney Fund sponsors no animal experiments, focusing instead on epidemiological studies to elucidate the causes of disease and to identify effective treatments. The Fund’s Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship and National Torchbearer Award provide funding for kidney specialists working to advance treatments for and understanding of kidney disease and dysfunction.
Kidney and urologic diseases affect more than 13 million people in the U.S. and claim 260,000 lives each year. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is an irreversible condition in which the kidneys no longer sufficiently remove wastes from the body. In the U.S., 50,000 people are diagnosed with ESRD each year, requiring dialysis or kidney transplants. The Fund’s Individual Patient Aid Grants, Patient Emergency Funds, and Disaster Relief Program provide many patients with ESRD funds needed for dialysis, medication, nutritional needs, and kidney donor expenses. These programs provide hope and save lives.
The American Kidney Fund also addresses other life-threatening kidney disorders, such as polycystic kidney disease (an inherited condition in which cysts form in the kidneys, leading to kidney failure) and glomerulonephritis (an inflammatory condition caused by infections or toxins).