The public and companies associated with kidney care have opened their wallets to help the American Kidney Fund and the National Kidney Foundation offer financial assistance to patients and their families who were victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 storm pummeled South Texas with 50 inches of rain over three days last month, damaging more than 100,000 structures and leaving close to 50 people dead.

So far, over $120,000 has been raised by the AKF’s Disaster Relief Program, according to Tamara Ruggiero, AKF’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing, and the organization is hoping to raise over $100,000 more to help victims of Hurricane Irma, a category 4 storm similar to Harvey that hit south Florida this past weekend.

The AKF’s Disaster Relief Program has been activated in the past to help patients who need emergency financial assistance. Block grants are provided to dialysis clinics so that social workers can distribute funding to patients who need to replace clothing, food, medications, household items, need help with transportation––any disaster-related need.

The AKF is also doing special fundraising for the two hurricanes. Last year the organization disbursed more than $100,000 in disaster relief funding for Hurricane Matthew and other storms.

The disaster fund had been accepting and processing applications from patient to help refill food pantries and pay for temporary housing. Other needs include replacing medications lost in the flooding, home repairs, and transportation.

Donors to the AKF hurricane fund include:

  • Amgen Foundation
  • Alliant Healthcare
  • American Renal Associates
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • DaVita Inc.
  • Keryx Biopharmaceuticals
  • The National Renal Administrators Association
  • OPKO Renal
  • U.S. Renal Care

The disaster fund has already spent $102,000 to help 435 dialysis patients who get treated at 68 different clinics in Texas, said Ruggiero.  

How you can help

To donate to the AKF disaster relief program, visit http://tinyurl.com/ybgfygxk

A video is available that describes what the donated funds are being used for at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanKidneyFund/videos/10155338186764017/

To donate to the NKF’s Hurricane Harvey Relief fund, visit https://www.kidney.org/content/nkf-hurricane-harvey-relief-fund

Clinics treating patients affected by Hurricane Harvey can contact the AKF at 800.795.3226 to request a block grant for their patients.