March came in with a roar for NKF! To kick-off National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day we launched three initiatives aimed at raising public awareness of kidney disease. We kicked off the month with the Kidney Patient Summit, followed by the launch of our new public awareness campaign, Heart Your Kidneys, and a special fundraising opportunity with Good Morning America. We also participated in an exhibit at The New York Historical Society Museum and turned the country orange via local landmarks. Let’s take a closer look at these successes.
This year’s Kidney Patient Summit was held on March 6th and 7th. It was the largest Summit to date bringing in 150 advocates from six kidney patient organizations. Advocating for early detection, living organ donation and more funding to battle kidney disease, members of Congress and their staffs heard firsthand from patients and families about the impact of this deadly disease. A special living organ donation press conference was held on Capitol Hill featuring living donors, kidney recipients and three members of Congress.
On March 10th – 12th, we launched our national public awareness campaign, Heart Your Kidneys using tech tattoos, high-tech water bottles, and a 1950’s style tattoo parlor that drew in visitors over a three-day activation at South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences, in Austin, TX. Partnering with Northwestern University of Chicago, NKF unveiled a new “tech tattoo” to measure hydration status in the body. Another high-tech item featured at SXSW was a co-branded water bottle, Hidrate Spark 2.0, that uses a sensor to record how many ounces of water an individual consumes on a daily basis The bottle connects to an app that suggests your daily water goal based on your physiology and environment, and gives a glowing reminder to hydrate.
In conjunction with the Heart Your Kidneys campaign, NKF was present at “Tattooed New York”, an exhibit at The New York Historical Society Museum and Library. Famed tattoo and fine artist, Amanda Wachob, tattooed a living donor who commemorated her decision to donate a kidney by getting a tattoo during the museum’s live event.
Also in March, National Kidney Foundation was part of a special segment on living organ donation that featured Georgia-based Kristi Callaway, an inspiring mother and wife who made it her mission to help people find living kidney donors. She built a community on Facebook that connects people with living kidney donors and has saved 23 lives so far. We are grateful to Good Morning America (GMA) for prominently featuring National Kidney Foundation, for the generous gift of $10,000 from its partner Retail Me Not, and for their special push to their viewers to “Dare to Donate a Dollar” to NKF.
Finally, scores of buildings across the nation from coast to coast turned orange in solidarity for all those affected by kidney disease. From the LAX Airport pylons to the Empire State Building and everything in between, orange was everywhere. Overall, a record amount of more than 30 national landmarks participated.
World Kidney Day and National Kidney Month may be over, but our Heart Your Kidneys campaign has just begun. Visit HeartYourKidneys.com to learn more about how you can help us spread awareness about kidney health.