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NKF ADVOCACY UPDATE

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Dear Julie,

 

I am delighted to share wonderful news with the kidney disease community. 

 

On August 28th, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an opinion letter on living organ donation which protects the job security of living donors who are eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This important clarification ensures that eligible employees who seek to use time off to donate an organ to help save another's life are entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave.

 

This clarification was a direct result of efforts by Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) through her work on the House Appropriations Committee.  Working with the National Kidney Foundation, Rep. Herrera Beutler developed language that was included in the Committee Report to the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.  The Report Language directed the Department of Labor to issue a clarification on FMLA for living donation.

 

We thank Rep. Herrera Beutler for making this possible.  While this is a huge victory for patients and organ donors, we need to keep advocating for the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1270) to provide protection from discrimination in the pricing or availability of life, disability or long-term care insurance.  Please write (or tweetyour federal legislators today, if you have not already done so, to ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1270.


Sincerely,


Kevin Longino

CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and kidney transplant recipient 

 
 
 
Using a Home Test Kit and Smartphone to Test for Kidney Disease
 
National Kidney Foundation, Geisinger and Healthy.io announce the launch of a novel clinical trial using a smartphone-enabled home urinalysis device for chronic kidney disease among patients with high blood pressure.
   
 
New PSA Focuses on African Americans and Kidney Disease
 
National Kidney Foundation launches video spot for April – National Donate Life Month and National Minority Health Month
   
 
NKF, ASCP, Leading Laboratories and Clinical Laboratory Societies Unite to Diagnose CKD
New "kidney profile" simplifies diagnostic tests with aim to help detect disease early.

PREVENTION

1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. What puts you at risk for kidney disease? Major risk factors include diabeteshigh blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older.

Kidney disease often has no symptoms, and it can go undetected until very advanced. But a simple urine test can tell you if you have kidney disease. Remember, it's important to get tested because early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease. Here are some helpful things to discuss with your doctor at your annual physical.

2 Simple Tests To Check For Kidney Disease

Urine Test

You could help save your kidneys with a simple urine test. Ask your doctor about Albumin Creatinine Ratio (ACR) which estimates the amount of a type of protein, albumin, that is in your urine.


Blood Test

The Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. It is the best way to check kidney function. Over 90 is good, 60-89 should be monitored, less than 60 for 3 months indicates kidney disease.

Major Risk Factors Include

 
 
 
What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs listed. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
 

How is Chronic Kidney Disease Detected?

Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease are the keys to keeping kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure. Some simple tests can be done to detect early kidney disease. They are:

  1. A test for protein in the urine. Albumin to Creatinine Ratio (ACR), estimates the amount of a albumin that is in your urine. An excess amount of protein in your urine may mean your kidney's filtering units have been damaged by disease. One positive result could be due to fever or heavy exercise, so your doctor will want to confirm your test over several weeks.
  2. A test for blood creatinine. Your doctor should use your results, along with your age, race, gender and other factors, to calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. To access the GFR calculator, click here.

It is especially important that people who have an increased risk for chronic kidney disease have these tests. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • are older
  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family member who has chronic kidney disease
  • are an African American, Hispanic American, Asians and Pacific Islander or American Indian.

If you are in one of these groups or think you may have an increased risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor about getting tested.

 

Learn more

High blood pressure and kidney disease
Diabetes and kidney disease
Diet and kidney disease
Exercise and kidney disease
Important facts about kidney disease

 
FIND A KEEP HEALTHY KIDNEY SCREENING NEAR YOU
NKF's community-based initiative to educate about the kidneys, risk factors for kidney disease, and steps to take to keep kidneys healthy.

 More Info >>
 
5 FOODS TO LIMIT OR AVOID IF YOU'RE ON DIALYSIS
Because dialysis cannot replace the workload of kidneys and waste can build up, it's important to watch what you eat.

 

More Info >>
 

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ADVOCACY UPDATE

 

Take Action for Kidney Patients

It's easy to make a difference! Sign up now to learn how to get involved with legislation relating to kidney disease, transplantation and organ donation.

 
 
 
 
 

HOW YOUR KIDNEYS WORK

Why Are the Kidneys So Important?

Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.

The critical regulation of the body's salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.

The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:

  • remove waste products from the body
  • remove drugs from the body
  • balance the body's fluids
  • release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • control the production of red blood cells

There is a constant shortage of donor organs in metropolitan areas such as New York City. Give the gift of life by becoming an organ donor.

In kidney transplants, the donors' remaining kidney strengthens to compensate for the kidney that he or she donated. Kidneys from a living donor have a better long-term survival than kidneys from a deceased donor.

Also, deceased kidney donation cannot meet the needs of all patients in this country who need a kidney transplant. The waiting time for a deceased kidney donation may be two to five years. Kidney donations from living donors have always been a better option. More recently, kidneys donated from unrelated living donors (such as a spouse or a friend) have been as successful as those from close relatives.



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We had an awesome gala last year! We would like to thank everyone who attended or helped us with the 6th Annual Dennis Bligen Kidney Foundation Benefit Gala.
Ed Shin, photographer and journalist (Village Connection Magazine), took photos. Click image to view gala photos.
 
 
The DBKF would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Chaminade High School who was a major sponsor
of the DBKF Gala!
 
Dennis Bligen was able to receive a kidney via a kidney swap chain, all thanks to a donation from his friend Jill Christensen. The story can be found here
 
PLEASE HELP MY SISTER
She desperately
needs a Kidney.
Her blood type is O
My name is Carla Wimberly. I am a 43 year old single mother of two sons named Christian and Aaron, ages 16 and 3. Today I humbly ask for your help. Read more...

 
* African Americans have suffered the most on the waiting list for a kidney donor. We need to have donors of the same background as the recipients. This will help the community by helping people who are on dialysis.
The DBKF is announcing a new initiative which will help a recipient find a living donor. The first recipient is Shirley Farquharson


Here's some information about Shirley.  Read more...
 
Minorities and Kidney Disease
Black Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska Natives are at the highest risk for kidney disease and kidney failure.

In fact, Black Americans are 3 times more likely and Hispanics are 1½ times more likely to have kidney failure compared to White Americans. Researchers do not fully understand why minorities are at a higher risk for kidney disease.

However, minorities have much higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, all of which increase the risk for kidney disease. Access to healthcare may also play a role.
 
Did you know that African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure? Because kidney disease often has no symptoms, it can go unnoticed until it is very advanced. But there's good news. Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards reducing risk, and early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease. Read more and get started...
 
Stressed?
10 Ways to Protect Your Kidneys
Everyone experiences stress. When channeled properly, it can serve as a positive motivator, however, too much or constant stress can take its toll on your health. Protect your kidneys and maintain your overall health with these 10 tips!
 
A Little Number 1 Can
Save Your 2 Kidneys

We're launching the EverybodyPees campaign so that Americans will think about their kidneys every time they use the bathroom. Learn more about the new campaign and check out these singing kidneys! We promise – you've never seen kidneys rock out like this before. Share the video with everyone you care about to help spread the word!
 
Other Risk Factors
 
Transplantation
Find informative transplant resources and support from other transplant recipients (of all organs) as well as those waiting for a transplant.
 
 
LEARN HOW TO BE A
PHOSPHORUS DETECTIVE
Part of a kidney-healthy diet is tracking or avoiding minerals like phosphorous which can be hidden in foods.
More Info >>
 
Your Kidneys and You
Your Kidneys and You is an education program that gives the basics of kidney function, what happens with kidney disease, and how people can protect their health. What do your kidneys do?
 
Recently Diagnosed
A diagnosis of kidney disease can be scary. Here is what to expect next so you can make educated decisions about your health.  Learn more here.
 
Start a Conversation About Living Donation
Many people won't get a transplant simply because they don’t know how to ask. Whether you need a kidney or are considering donation, let us help you start the conversation.
 
Help Bring Urgency to Kidney Health
This simple action will help give kidneys the attention they deserve on World Kidney Day: Sign up for our Thunderclap campaign and donate a tweet or a Facebook post. Let your voice be heard!
 
Be an Organ Donor

Have you ever thought about donating an organ? Organ and tissue donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life. Learn more about the donation process–and how to become an organ donor.

 
KNOW THE
SYMPTOMS OF CKD

According to the NationalKidney Center.org, Chronic kidney disease often goes undiagnosed and progresses because the signs and symptoms are so subtle.  However, there are 10 key kidney disease symptoms.
 
 
Changes in Urination
Swelling
Skin Rash/Itching
Leg, Back, or Side Pain
Metallic Taste in Mouth
Nausea and Vomiting
Feeling Cold
Shortness of Breath
Dizziness and Trouble Concentrating
Fatigue
   
If you experience any of these symptoms, however subtle, go to your health care provider and ask for a kidney screening.
The National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) offers free screenings in your area for those at risk.

Go to www.Kidney.org to find out more.
 

What Has NKF Been Up To Lately?

 
Support Federal Funding for Kidney Disease Research and Programs.  
Show your support by emailing your members of Congress today!

 
 
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Kidney Fund

National Kidney Center


 
The Dennis Bligen Kidney Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in honor of Dennis Bligen, who was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2002.

 
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