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American Kidney Fundís Grants Help Dialysis Patients Who Survived Katrina


WEBWIRE

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 14 -- Dialysis patients from the Gulf Coast region are receiving emergency financial assistance from the American Kidney Fundís Disaster Relief Program.

The grants are helping patients pay for essentials such as transportation to treatment, replacement of lost medications, food and shelter assistance and replacement of household necessities.

ďMany of these patients lost everything in the disaster, and thanks to the generosity of contributors who have responded to our call for donations, we will be able to help these patients, both now and in the coming months,Ē said Don Roy, interim executive director of the American Kidney Fund.

The Fund has received generous contributions for disaster relief from many individuals around the nation, as well as from Amgen and the American Society of Nephrology.

The Fund is providing block grants to dialysis clinics. Social workers in those clinics are assessing patientsí individual situations and allocating funds to those in greatest need.

So far, the Fund has sent grants to dialysis clinics in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Texas. New requests are coming in daily. When a social worker contacts the Fund for emergency assistance, the Fund works to review and approve the request quickly and then sends a check via overnight delivery. All grant requests are processed within 24 hours.

In addition, Genzyme has donated Renagel to the Fund. The Fund is distributing this medication to patients who lost their medications in the disaster. Renagel helps dialysis patients control the phosphorus levels in their blood.

ďOn behalf of our evacuees, thank you so much for your prompt attention to their needs,Ē a social worker in Arkansas wrote to the Fund last week. ďThere are many sad stories and so much loss, it is hard to fathom. We appreciate your generosity and will put this money to the best possible use for our patients.Ē

The grant application process is simple. Social workers or dialysis centers with patients in need of emergency assistance may call the Fundís Patient Services Department at 800-638-8299 or visit http://www.kidneyfund.org for information on how to apply.

Anyone wishing to contribute to disaster relief for dialysis patients may visit http://www.kidneyfund.org to make an online contribution. In addition, contributions are accepted via telephone at 800-638-8299. Checks may be mailed to American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 1010, Rockville, MD 20852. Please indicate in the memo line that the contribution is for disaster relief.

In addition to distributing grants for patients, the Fund has given money and logistical support to Dr. Paul Miller, who opened a central warehouse for dialysis materials and supplies that a group of volunteer drivers are dispersing throughout the state of Louisiana.

The Fundís Web site -- http://www.kidneyfund.org -- contains a comprehensive listing of disaster relief resources, including links to the many renal organizations that are offering assistance to patients.

The Fund has delivered support to patients affected by previous catastrophic events. The Fund provided grants to dialysis centers in response to major hurricanes; the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers; Mississippi River flooding in the Midwest; and the Northridge (Calif.) earthquake, among others.

Founded in 1971, the American Kidney Fund is the nationís No. 1 source of financial assistance to needy kidney patients.

Ninety-five cents of every dollar the American Kidney Fund spends goes directly to programs and services for kidney patients. The American Kidney Fund has been named a Gold Star Charity by Forbes Magazine, one of Americaís Best Charities by Readerís Digest, and has received Charity Navigatorís highest four-star rating for the past five years in a row. Visit http://www.kidneyfund.org for more information.



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