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As Hurricane Lane's Torrential Rains Lash Hawaiian Islands, American Kidney Fund Activates Disaster Relief Program for Dialysis Patients

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hurricane Lane's close pass by Hawaii has already resulted in catastrophic flash flooding along with mudslides, and the temporary closure of dialysis clinics that provide life-sustaining treatment to residents with kidney failure. To help Hawaii's dialysis patients with emergency expenses resulting from the storm, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) announced it has activated its Disaster Relief Program, the nation's only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities.

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Disaster relief grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster.

AKF's Disaster Relief Program is funded through donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. AKF has received a grant from Akebia Therapeutics to help patients affected by Hurricane Lane.

"Unlike the average person who can hunker down for an extended period or go to a shelter for meals, dialysis patients cannot defer their treatments or eat much of the food that is provided by relief agencies," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. "Our emergency disaster relief grants help dialysis patients with the essentials—food, shelter and transportation to the treatments they need to stay alive. We—and the patients we help—are grateful to Akebia and all who donate to our Disaster Relief Program."

Hawaii's dialysis clinics worked with patients as the storm approached to help them prepare for the coming emergency. They instructed patients to restrict their water and potassium intake in preparation for the storm to stay as healthy as possible in case they miss a treatment, and worked on contingency plans to move patients off the islands that are most affected. Many clinics treated their Friday patients early and planned to stay closed through the worst of the storm.

Any Hawaii dialysis patient affected by Hurricane Lane who needs an AKF emergency grant should contact a social worker at their dialysis center for information on applying, or call AKF directly at 800.795.3226.

Anyone who like to help dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Lane or other natural disasters can make a contribution to AKF's Disaster Relief Program.

Last year, as back-to-back hurricanes struck the mainland United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AKF provided nearly $850,000 in disaster relief grants to more than 3,800 dialysis patients affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. A generous outpouring of support from individuals, foundations and corporations ensured that AKF could provide a grant to every dialysis patient who applied.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation's leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation's charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its "top 10" list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Alice Andors
American Kidney Fund
240-292-7053
aandors@kidneyfund.org

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