Like every corner of the medical community, kidney patient advocacy groups have mobilized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The many responses include direct monetary grants to patients; education for patients about the virus and how they can react; increased efforts for communication, networking, and counseling; and mobilization for political activity.
With the flurry of activity, patients with internet access may be receiving more information and support than ever.
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) opened applications for its Coronavirus Emergency Fund (https://www.kidneyfund.org/news/akf-launches-coronavirus-emergency-fund-to-help-low-income-dialysis-and-transplant-patients.html) on March 23 to provide $250 grants to any US dialysis patients or recent kidney transplant patients who demonstrate financial need. The fund aims to help “low-income patients who are experiencing financial shocks related to food, transportation, medications, and medical supplies,” according to Alice Andors, AKF’s senior director of communications. AKF reallocated $300,000 from its 2020 budget to the fund, which “was depleted on the first day when we received nearly 2000 applications for assistance. We have received 6000 applications and we have funding for fewer than half, resulting in a shortfall of about $1 million. We are issuing urgent appeals to individuals, corporations, associations, and foundations, but contributions are not keeping pace with the need in our patient community.” (ASN has contributed to the fund.)