UKRO—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization—was founded in 2002 by entertainment lawyer Ken Kleinberg and a small group of committed individuals with the help of Dr. Vito Campese, then Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. In 1999, Ken was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a kidney ailment that also affects children and young people. FSGS is the second leading cause of kidney failure in kids. In Ken's case, doctors still don't know what caused his disease. Ken's kidneys failed in 2001 and he was on dialysis for the next six years until receiving a life-saving kidney transplant in 2007.
UKRO's mission is fundraising to support medical research and education related to the causes, treatment, and eradication of all forms of kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease—a progressive loss of kidney function, occurring over a period of months or years—is a global epidemic affecting up to 26 million American men, women, and children, and many of them don't even know they have it. The most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure, together accounting for about 72% of new cases. Obesity, a strong risk factor for diabetes and hypertension, is known to triple the risk of chronic kidney failure. More than one-third of U.S. adults—and approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of U.S. children and adolescents—are obese.
In 2012, UKRO partnered with the Keck School of Medicine of USC to create a premier center for kidney research on USC's Health Sciences Campus—a center of excellence that doesn't exist at any other institution in the Los Angeles area. Research at the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center is the primary beneficiary of UKRO's fundraising efforts now and for the foreseeable future.
Help Build the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center!
It's an exciting time at USC and UKRO as our joint kidney research center takes shape. Our initial research team has arrived, joining other USC scientists already hard at work finding new ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure kidney disease.
UKRO has pledged $3.5 million to make this cutting-edge kidney center a reality, and we need your help to reach our fundraising goal.
Please support the KRC and bring hope to millions of kidney patients and their families waiting for a cure.
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