Thousands of Iowa residents face homelessness and devastation in the wake of this summer's floods, but the difficulty is compounded for those coping with a chronic illness. To help kidney patients rebuild their lives and homes, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has established a financial assistance program.
There are more than 2,000 dialysis patients in Iowa, according to the National Kidney Foundation. "Many of these patients were especially hard hit by the natural disaster," says John Davis, CEO, National Kidney Foundation. "People whose kidneys have failed require dialysis treatments three times per week for five hour sessions and most treatment is provided in community-based centers. The NKF's goal in setting up this financial assistance program is to provide support during this difficult time and to ensure that medical care is not compromised due to the disaster. Patients must have access to the life-saving treatment they need."
The NKF's financial assistance program covers the cost of travel to dialysis centers as well as replacement of lost or damaged possessions and basic necessities such as groceries and clothing. Dialysis unit social workers may apply for assistance on behalf of individual patients affected by the flood. The financial assistance program is supported by a grant from the Amgen Foundation.
"The NKF's program is providing much-needed funds for patients who were displaced from their homes and lost all of their belongings. So many of my patients are just trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B, and the grant provided by the NKF is helping them do that while covering a variety of expenses," says Marcia Swift, MSW, a social worker at Mercy Plaza Dialysis Center in Cedar Rapids.
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.