February 23, 2009

Contact: Michele Anthony or Nicole Hawkins
(202) 244-7900

Love Your Kidneys

WASHINGTON, DC – Now that Valentine’s Day is past and it’s back to relationships as usual, it’s easy to begin taking those we love for granted—especially the ones who show their love in quiet, daily acts of support that enable us to focus on our busy lives. It’s just as easy, and risky, for people to take their health for granted. March is National Kidney Month, and World Kidney Day is March 12, the perfect time to focus on kidney health.

The National Kidney Foundation encourages Americans to mark these occasions by considering some of the many ways their kidneys quietly support their health day—to—day — filtering their blood, controlling blood pressure, supporting healthy bones — and how much their health will suffer if they develop chronic kidney disease.

It’s often said that “love means paying attention.” The National Kidney Foundation urges Americans to familiarize themselves with the risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) as a critical first step toward focusing on kidney health and to adopt some kidney—friendly lifestyle changes.

If you have one or more of the following risk factors, the National Kidney Foundation suggests you to talk to your doctor about being screened for kidney disease.

Risk Factors for CKD
Primary Risk FactorsSecondary Risk Factors
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Heart disease
  • Urinary tract and/or systemic infections
  • Family history of CKD
  • Overuse over—the—counter painkillers
  • Age 60 or older
  • Kidney loss, damage, injury or infection
  • To help you show some love for your humble, hard—working kidneys, the National Kidney Foundation offers this 10—step program:

    10 Ways to Keep Kidneys Healthy

    1. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol
    2. Monitor blood glucose
    3. Control weight
    4. Don't smoke
    5. Follow a healthful diet
    6. Don't overuse NSAIDS or other OTC painkillers
    7. Get an annual physical exam
    8. Find out if CKD, diabetes or heart disease runs in your family
    9. Exercise regularly
    10. Talk to your doctor about being tested for CKD if you are at risk

    To learn more about CKD risk factors, prevention, treatment and free screenings, visit or call (202) 244-7900.

    Patients and family members who have benefited from the work of the National Kidney Foundation are strong, credible advocates for the Love Your Kidneys call to action. These volunteers devote countless hours to raising awareness about CKD, risk factors, and early detection. All advocates are available for interviews.

    Herman Phillips — A 43—year-old father of two who was diagnosed at end stage renal failure after his wife’s prodding to visit the doctor. He went on dialysis within days. Seven months later he received a kidney from a generous friend and credits the two women for saving his life. Phillips is the lead patient spokesperson for the 2009 Love Your Kidneys campaign.

    Bill Gardiner — In summer 2008, City of Hyattsville Mayor Bill Gardiner, donated a kidney to his cousin Randy Martin, who suffered from polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Mayor Gardiner said his surgery was minimally disruptive and he was back to his normal routine in a few weeks. “I hope others who have friends and relatives needing kidney transplants will consider becoming a donor,” says Gardiner.

    Quandra Lee — Diagnosed in her senior year of high school, Lee went on dialysis and eventually received a kidney from her mother Gillian Bates. Ten years later Lee’s kidney failed while on her honeymoon and she returned to dialysis before receiving another kidney from her brother—in—law, Rev. Tony Lee. Quandra is the co-chair of the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk, April 19 at the Mall at Prince George’s.

    Kori Marshall — Mother of seven—year—old kidney patient Jalon, who was diagnosed at birth with Prune Belly Syndrome, which necessitated several surgeries for young Jalon. He had an abnormal shaped and poor functioning bladder that lead to kidney failure and thrice weekly dialysis treatments. He received a kidney transplant in October 2008 and is doing well. Kori is committed to raising public awareness about kidney disease particularly among youth and the underserved.

    The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.