April 23, 2019 – “Kansas has become the seventh state in the country to pass legislation that would protect living organ donors from life insurance discrimination solely based upon their status as donors. On behalf of kidney patients across the country, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) applauds this achievement as Kansas joins Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New York, and Oklahoma.”
“A kidney transplant is a patient’s best option for lifesaving treatment, rather than spending years on dialysis. More than 300 people are waiting for a kidney in Kansas. That’s three of every four people who are waiting for an organ transplant in the state. The Kansas legislation, originally HB 2041, will remove a barrier faced by living donors and help ensure more donors step forward without the fear of facing a lifetime of insurance discriminations.”
“Sue Hendon, an NKF local board member in Kansas, stated during her testimony earlier this year, ‘Both my recipient and I lead a full life, without much limitation. I continued to work, until my retirement. I volunteer in my community, paint, play racquetball, run triathlons, and spend time with my family. I am here today to serve my community by protecting altruistic Americans, like myself, who made the gift of life to save another person’s life.’”
“NKF would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Hendon along with local advocates Ron and Julie Hein, John Monroe, Mitch DePriest; and our Kansas NKF staff, who all worked tirelessly to help make this victory possible.”
“The Kansas legislation is modeled after The Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1224 and S. 511) championed by NKF and introduced in February in the U.S. House of Representatives by four bi-partisan Members of Congress: Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) joined by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tom Cotton (R-AR).”
“Living organ donation not only saves lives, it saves money. Each year, Medicare spends $87,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $32,500, for a transplant patient.”
National Kidney Foundation Living Donation Resources
THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855.NKF.CARES (855.653.2273), peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All of these resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a life-saving living organ donation. For more information visit www.kidney.org/livingdonation.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).