ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit American Kidney Fund (AKF) has now distributed nearly $120,000 in emergency disaster relief assistance to 500 dialysis patients devastated by Hurricane Harvey and is preparing to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma.
AKF is receiving and processing dozens of emergency aid requests from Texas dialysis patients each day. As patients in Florida, Georgia and neighboring states begin to cope with the aftermath of Irma, AKF expects the number of requests for disaster assistance to increase.
More than 6 million people in Florida are without power, and officials have warned it could take weeks before all power is restored. The situation is urgent: dialysis patients must replace renal-friendly food that has been lost, must replace medications like insulin that need to be refrigerated, and must continue to go to dialysis clinics for treatment three times per week to survive.
The American Kidney Fund's Disaster Relief Program is the rapid-response charitable assistance program that is dedicated to quickly and effectively meeting the needs of dialysis patients who experience natural disasters. Charity Navigator has included AKF on its list of highly rated charities that are providing aid to survivors of Harvey and Irma, and AKF has been cited by National Public Radio, the New York Times and USA Today as a trusted source of disaster relief for dialysis patients.
Any dialysis patient affected by either hurricane who needs emergency assistance may speak to the social worker at their dialysis clinic for information on how to apply for help from AKF, or may call AKF at 1.800.795.3226 for information.
AKF has raised a total of $158,000 so far from generous individuals and corporations toward disaster relief, and has set a preliminary goal of raising $250,000 to help the dialysis patient community through the aftermath of both hurricanes.
Individuals wishing to contribute to AKF's Disaster Relief Program may visit kidneyfund.org/hurricane, where they may designate whether their contribution should go to relief for Harvey, Irma, or either. One hundred percent of contributions will go to dialysis patients affected by the hurricanes. So far, about 54 percent of patients affected by Harvey have used AKF assistance to replace clothing and household items lost to flooding. Twenty-six percent are using the funding for transportation to dialysis and emergency housing. Another 20 percent are using AKF funding to pay for renal-friendly food and medicine.
AKF has received generous disaster relief donations from Amgen Foundation, Alliant Healthcare, American Renal Associates, American Society of Nephrology, DaVita, Keryx, National Renal Administrators Association, OPKO, Relypsa and U.S. Renal Care.
AKF's website is providing information resources for dialysis patients in the aftermath of the storm, including a list of dialysis clinic hotlines; links to FEMA and Red Cross resources; and information about finding open pharmacies and other resources. Patients may find this information at http://www.kidneyfund.org/disaster-relief-resources.
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's Disaster Relief Program has been a lifeline of critically needed assistance for dialysis patients for many years, helping people in the aftermath of the nation's most devastating disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Sandy, Matthew and many more.
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.
SOURCE American Kidney Fund