We had a wildly successful National Kidney Month thanks to you and thousands of other compassionate Americans around the country.
Leading into National Kidney Month, the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 4616/S. 2584) was introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representative Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) in the House of Representatives, and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate. This bill will protect living organ donors and remove barriers to donation by prohibiting insurance companies from denying or limiting life, disability and long term care insurance to living donors, and from charging higher premiums. The bill also clarifies that living organ donors may use time granted through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to recover from donation.
On March 8th, patient advocates from the National Kidney Foundation and other kidney
patient organizations stormed Capitol Hill and the offices of 180 U.S. Representatives and Senators to discuss important strategies for better kidney care in the U.S. More than 4,125
people took action at home and supported the same priorities by emailing their Representatives and Senators. Additionally, 180,068 people saw tweets about the kidney patient summit and 38,854 people were reached by Facebook posts. The tireless work of our patient advocates also helped to generate nearly 200 co-signers for a Congressional “dear colleague” letter in support of NIH funding. To see pictures and more information about the 2016 Kidney Patient Summit, please see blogs posted on March 7th and March 8th.
Finally, we turned America orange for World Kidney Day. Cities and states around the country took action to teach Americans about the need for better kidney disease education and management. Cities across the country turned landmarks orange. Numerous cities hosted events including KEEP Healthy Screenings , events to spread kidney awareness with policy makers, and sporting events featuring kidney patients and living donors. Cities mayors and state legislatures also issued proclamations celebrating World Kidney Day and calling for new initiatives to prevent, diagnose, and treat kidney disease.
With National Kidney Month coming to a close, we need you to keep this momentum going. Reach out to elected officials, media outlets, and support efforts including KEEP Healthy Screenings and Kidney Walks. What will you do to help us keep moving our message forward?