The NephCure Foundation

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NephCure Kidney International, (formerly known as "The NephCure Foundation") is a non-profit organization established in 1999. It is the only U.S. tax exempt 501 (c)(3) public charity committed exclusively to supporting research to identify the cause, improve the treatment, and find the cure of the two potentially debilitating kidney diseases, Nephrotic Syndrome and Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).[1]

NephCure Kidney International (NKI) seeks to reach its goal through education, raising awareness, and fundraising. It is the primary source of information on Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS.[2] Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS are conditions that affect the tiny filtering mechanisms in the kidneys. The result is that beneficial protein is spilled from the kidneys into the urine and is lost. Over time, this condition can result in renal failure and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. The cause of Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS is not known, it can affect anyone, and there is no cure. FSGS is a leading cause of kidney failure in children.

It is estimated that kidney disease affects 31 million people in the United States alone, with African Americans being 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure. Last year, 90,000 Americans were killed by kidney disease, more than breast cancer and prostate cancer. Some doctors believe kidney disease of this nature might be the next epidemic of our generation.

NephCure Kidney International works with various public figures to increase awareness about Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS. The current NephCure ambassadors include NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, Track & Field athlete Aries Merritt, 1986 World Champion New York Mets member Ed Hearn, James Madison University star point guard Dawn Evans, Congressman Jim Gerlach, football player Gaylon Hyder, star of ABC’s All My Children Rebecca Budig, former National Football League star Herschel Walker, and NASCAR driver David Ragan.[3] Teresa Giudice, of The Real Housewives of New Jersey fame, also raised money for the NephCure Foundation on The Celebrity Apprentice 5 (also known as The Apprentice 12), 2012.

Eighty-eight cents of every dollar raised is put towards vital programs including research, health and education. For instance, NephCure supports clinicians and researchers through the NephCure Grant Program and provides free Patient Educational Seminars and Clinical Symposium.[4][5]

The NephCure event program create awareness, support and the funds needed to support their mission. Each year more than 5000 NKI grassroots volunteers turn their passions and interests into unique fundraising events, such community cook-offs, dance marathons, athletic events, and workplace fundraisers. Together these events have raised over $15 million for research.

The NephCure Kidney Walk is designed to raise money to further the foundation’s mission. NephCure walks are inspiring community fundraisers run by local patients and families to create awareness, provide support for each other, and raise funds for medical research into better treatments and a cure for FSGS and nephrotic syndrome. Walks are held all over the country.

Nephlete [neph-leet] noun A participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill that raises awareness and funds for NephCure. The Nephlete program motivates individuals and teams of all ages and athletic backgrounds who desire to play an active role in the fight against Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS by competing in runs, triathlons, cycling, and other athletic events to further the mission of NephCure Kidney International. Nephletes have participated in the Rock 'n Roll marathon series, New York Marathon, the Miami Marathon, and similar events.

Major fundraising events include the Countdown to a Cure NYC and Chicago Signature Galas. In 2015, these galas honored Aries Merritt, the American track and field athlete who specializes in the 110 meter hurdles, and currently holds the world record. In 2015, Aries Merritt underwent a kidney transplant as a result of his FSGS.

In addition, NephCure supports family fundraisers, events organized by NephCure families and friends to help NephCure invest in kidney disease research, education, and awareness initiatives.

Other NephCure fundraising techniques include grant proposals, internet appeals, membership appeals, and cause marketing.[6]

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