Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in the United States, according to the
Kidney cancer affects people globally, with networks such as the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) bringing together organizations across the world to advance research and support people with kidney cancer as well as their families. According to IKCC, 431,000 people worldwide will receive a diagnosis of kidney cancer each year.
March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. It’s a great opportunity for people to get involved with organizations doing work to advance the cause of kidney health and to find a cure for kidney cancer.
Whether or not you are personally affected by kidney cancer, these five organizations offer you ways to help.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has its roots in 1950, when Ada DeBold and her husband Harry started the National Nephrosis Foundation (NNF). Their young son had received a diagnosis of nephrosis, a then largely untreatable condition. The NNF became the NKF in 1964.
Today the NKF is a leader in kidney disease research, advocacy, and policy development. The foundation does proactive work to support people with kidney disease and their families, including reaching those who are most at-risk for the condition. The NKF’s support work extends from people who want to learn more about donating a kidney to people in need of transplant.
Here are some ways you can get involved with the NKF during Kidney Cancer Awareness Month and year-round:
- Become an advocate by contacting legislators: The NKF has a toolkit to help you get started.
- Attend an NKF event in your area: Events such as the Kidney Walk happen around the country.
- Volunteer your time: The organization has a searchable database for volunteer opportunities with NKF offices and events.
The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) was founded in 1990 by a group of people living with kidney cancer. Their vision is to find a cure for kidney cancer. They support and empower people with the condition and their caregivers, with a focus on research, education, and advocacy.
The KCA has many ways for people to get involved with Kidney Cancer Awareness Month through their #OrangeUp campaign. You can:
- Order a free orange ribbon.
- Share the hashtag #OrangeUp on social media.
- Contact your local government to request orange lights on a city landmark or building or an acknowledgment in government communications.
The Kidney Cancer Coalition (KidneyCAN) supports people living with kidney cancer by connecting them with clinical trials and other opportunities for treatment. The organization’s goal is to arrive more quickly at a cure for kidney cancer.
The organization started in July 2016 after Ralph Knapp, motivated by his own experience with kidney cancer, successfully started a grassroots campaign with his wife Brenda to fund a clinical trial for a new treatment.
KidneyCAN advocates for research funding, helps researchers collaborate across disciplines, and funds researchers with new ideas. The organization also provides education to those living with the condition and their caregivers.
KidneyCAN is holding a Spring Kidney Cancer Advocacy Days event on March 13 and 14, where anyone affected by kidney cancer can sign up to advocate for research funding to members of Congress, in person or virtually. The program requires preregistration and advocacy training in early March.
UK-based Action Kidney Cancer (AKC) was started in 2006 when two people with kidney cancer, Rose Woodward and Julia Black, advocated for access to medications through the National Health Service (NHS).
The charity has grown beyond this initial “Fight for Life” campaign to become a trusted voice of people with kidney cancer in the United Kingdom. Their services now include a clinical trials database and community outreach program.
AKC’s annual fundraising drive is The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and several of these events take place during the summer months. You can also get involved in the AKC’s campaigns by being an advocate to decision makers in the United Kingdom. The organization also has a number of volunteer opportunities, from contributing to the newsletter to becoming a champion for people with kidney cancer in clinical trials.
Kidney Cancer Canada (KCC) is led by people with kidney cancer, caregivers, and health professionals. The organization offers peer support, information, and education, including about navigating the healthcare system.
KCC advises and advocates to governments on behalf of the kidney cancer community. It also supports kidney cancer research through the Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada.
The organization offers may ways to volunteer. You can access the application form on KCC’s website. Roles include event volunteers, community liaisons, and public relations team members. Those who have personal experience with kidney cancer can also apply to give support to people living with kidney cancer and caregivers.
Kidney cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year.
Many organizations are working toward a cure by advocating for research and education. They also support people living with the condition and their caregivers.
During Kidney Cancer Awareness Month in March, you can get involved in any number of ways to show your support and add your voice to the cause.