E-Kidney Newsletter March 2009

March 2009

How Do You Celebrate World Kidney Day? Let Us Count the Ways

Happy National Kidney Month! This March, the National Kidney Foundation urges Americans to get to know two humble, hardworking organs: the kidneys. To help raise awareness and appreciation for all the vital functions the kidneys perform, the National Kidney Foundation is encouraging Americans to learn more and take steps now to preserve kidney health. March 12th is World Kidney Day, the perfect time to get to know your kidneys and find out if you're at risk.

How does one celebrate World Kidney Day? Get a free screening, participate in a local event or visit our special Web page for more information. And when you take the Kidney Quiz in March you'll be eligible to win a copy of the new book Resilience by NBA Champion, Olympic basketball gold medalist and kidney transplant recipient, Alonzo Mourning.

You can also send personalized World Kidney Day E-Cards to friends, family, doctors and nurses by clicking here. Why wait until loved ones get sick to send a card wishing them well? Our customizable e-cards offer life-saving prevention messages as well as the opportunity to thank health care providers for doing their best all year round.


Brick-Breaking Dialysis Patient Heads to DC to Share His Story With Lawmakers

In 2003, Michigan resident Keenan Brown visited his local doctor's office after noticing a substantial weight gain and experiencing a shortness of breath. Six years later, Brown will be celebrating World Kidney Day by visiting a different type of office- his Congressman's. He will be traveling to Washington, DC as a member of the National Kidney Foundation's People Like Us advocacy group.

Brown was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, congenital heart failure and chronic kidney disease. He is currently receiving dialysis treatments but that has not stopped him from gaining national accolades in martial arts and setting world records in breaking bricks. On March 12, World Kidney Day, he will give his hands and forehead a rest and join fellow dialysis patients, kidney recipients, living donors and others to tell his story and advocate for the millions of kidney patients around the United States.


NKF Offers Six-Step Health Primer

Most Americans know that heart disease and cancer can be silent killers and they understand that monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol and having regular mammograms are critical to protecting their health.

Too few adults—and not enough doctors—realize, however, that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is another common, life-threatening illness that could be diagnosed early through simple tests, but often goes undetected until very advanced stages.

In recognition of National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day, the National Kidney Foundation offers this 6-step primer for protecting health. You may want to print it out.



Teen Receives Kidney Wake Up Call

Klarissa Ramirez was in poor health from birth, but it wasn't until she was 12 that her family learned what was really going on. Always tired and lacking energy, Klarissa was turning into a pre-teen couch potato. Her mother couldn't stand seeing her daughter so inactive, so she urged Klarissa to try out for volleyball. In order to qualify for the team, Klarissa took a urine test during the required sports physical. Klarissa and her mother were totally unprepared when the doctor told them there were massive amounts of protein in Klarissa's urine, a sure sign of kidney damage.

Read more of Klarissa's story and get your own kidneys checked out at your doctor or at a National Kidney Foundation free screening in your area.


Make Your Voice Heard in Washington, DC

Bring chronic kidney disease issues to the attention of lawmakers with the click of a mouse as part of the National Kidney Foundation's People Like Us Take Action Network.

Through this electronic tool, you will receive action alert emails that outline specific issues and proposed legislation, and offer sample letters that you can personalize and e-mail directly to your Members of Congress.

Join over 6,000 advocates in cities all over the U.S. who are making their voices heard on key issues of importance to the kidney community.



Break the Fast in a Kidney-Healthy Way Each Morning

Your doctor and mother are right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast provides you with the mental and physical energy needed to carry out everyday tasks in a productive and timely manner. Studies show that eating a nutritious breakfast leads adults to perform better at work and children to pay better attention at school. The Kidney Kitchen offers this breakfast cereal recipe to promote kidney health at the start of your day.