FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2012

Contact: Michele Anthony
(202) 244-7900 Ext. 29

The National Kidney Foundation, Amgen and the Washington Redskins Urge District Area Residents to “Love Their Kidneys” at NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo

National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area and Amgen Provide Free Kidney Health Risk Assessments

Washington, D.C. – On January 14 and 15, the Washington Redskins teamed up with the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area (NKF/NCA) and Amgen to kick off the fourth year of the “Love Your Kidneys” campaign at the NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo.

“Love Your Kidneys” is a multi-media campaign designed to educate the public about what the kidneys do, what happens when they don't work properly and who's at risk. The DC metropolitan area leads the nation in the prevalence of kidney disease, with more than 700,000 people affected, nearly 6,000 patients on dialysis and more than 1,500 people waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. The District also has the most new cases of kidney failure diagnosed each year.

“The NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo allows us to reach thousands of area residents and encourage people to take control of their health to avoid kidney failure,” said Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE, Division President of the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area. “We strive to provide residents with access to kidney-related health screenings and information.”

At the Expo, over 1,000 individuals took advantage of the free Kidney Health Risk Assessments (KHRA). KHRAs included a blood pressure check, body mass calculation and a brief risk questionnaire. Participants also met with on-site doctors, nurses and registered dietitians to discuss their health risks and receive educational information regarding diet and exercise to keep kidneys healthy. Everyone with an identified risk factor for kidney disease, including diabetes and hypertension, the two leading causes, was provided information on upcoming Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) screenings.

Washington Redskins safety Reed Doughty and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander were also on site, along with Redskins cheerleaders, to sign autographs and talk about the NFL Play 60 Challenge, an initiative that encourages children to go out and play for 60 minutes a day. They led Expo participants in a Zumba demonstration that focused on tackling childhood obesity. Demo stage activities were hosted by Rick “Doc” Walker of the “John Thompson” show on ESPN980. Along with NBC4 and the Redskins, the station is a partner in the “Love Your Kidneys” public awareness campaign.

Alexander has a family history of diabetes, including his uncle who recently received a kidney transplant after many years on dialysis. According to Alexander, “I am proud to partner with the National Kidney Foundation and Amgen to raise awareness so that others don’t have to go through what he did.”

Doughty’s son was born with kidney failure, endured 10 months of dialysis and at the age of 18 months received a transplant with a kidney donated by his mother. According to Doughty, “My son’s kidney failure was not preventable, but for many Washington area residents it is. That’s why I’m on a mission to educate Washington, DC residents about the risk factors and to encourage early detection of kidney disease.”

Twenty-six million Americans have CKD, a condition defined by kidney damage and impaired kidney function that progresses over time. Early-stage CKD may be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not usually apparent until the later stages of the disease. When kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required to sustain life.

For more information on kidney disease or the “Love Your Kidneys” campaign, please visit www.kidneywdc.org or call (202) 244-7900.

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.