New York, NY (October 4, 2005) - Comedian George Lopez is getting serious about a mission that's close to his heart, or rather, his kidney. The co-creator and star of the hit ABC sitcom "George Lopez" and his wife, Ann, have been named national spokespeople for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
Lopez’s wife donated a kidney to him last April. Lopez suffered from a genetic condition that caused his kidneys to deteriorate, and needed the transplant in order to survive. Now he plans to spread the word about the need for early detection of kidney disease and the critical shortage of donated organs for transplantation.
"If laughter is the best medicine, I promise to continue to make you laugh as my wife and I work together with the National Kidney Foundation to save lives," says Lopez.
“One in nine American adults has chronic kidney disease and most don’t even know it," says Fred Brown, the foundation’s Chairman. "We’re committed to reaching those at risk and know that George Lopez’s popularity, humor and personal experience with kidney disease will help us reach out to help more people."
Ann and George Lopez will serve as Honorary Chairmen of the foundation's Kidney Walk Program, a series of nearly 100 walks held every year in cities across the country. He's also planning to join Team Southern California at the NKF’s 2006 U.S. Transplant Games, an Olympic-style event for recipients of every type of life-saving organ transplant, to be held in Louisville, Kentucky next June. Lopez will be going for the gold in his favorite sport-golf. More than 2,000 athletes who have received transplants of kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and bone marrow, will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in a dozen events, including track and field, swimming, cycling, racquetball and basketball.
Lopez was recently cited by Time magazine as "one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America." With a population of some 41.3 million, Hispanics now comprise the nation's largest ethnic minority. “Latinos are a group that is at high risk for kidney disease. My wife and I look forward to helping the NKF raise public awareness about the importance of screening and early detection in the fight against kidney disease,” says Lopez.
Lopez has been selling Donate Life charity bracelets on his web site to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. He has designated a block of tickets for an October 8 event at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA, An Evening of Comedy: The “Who Told You That?” concert to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California.
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.