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March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

March 27, 2013

Kidney Cancer Association (KCA), with its more than 70,000 members worldwide, are celebrating by honoring the many collaborators who have helped to make KCA a global leader.

March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month and the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA), with its more than 70,000 members worldwide, are celebrating by honoring the many collaborators who have helped to make ours the largest organization of its kind.

Since its founding in 1990 by the late Eugene P. Schonfeld , Ph.D., KCA has developed scores of highly effective relationships with organizations and institutions around the world. Carrie Konosky , KCA vice president for development, says, "By working with others who specialize in helping people whose lives have been touched by renal cancers, we've made remarkable strides in the development of new medicines, along with advancements in surgical interventions, and helping patient families with the psycho-social aspects of dealing with the disease."

Among the earliest of collaborations were those that brought medical experts on board as advisers to KCA. Doctors and researchers from University of Chicago, Loyola University, Cleveland Clinic, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and other major academic centers were a part of the first to join this effort. Soon faculty from West Coast institutions joined, followed by doctors from the major European centers.

In the 1990s, KCA joined the renowned Washington, D.C. based Cancer Leadership Council, where others with a shared interest in the eradication of death and suffering from cancer gather monthly to work on a common advocacy agenda. Members of KCA have served on the governing board of Friends of Cancer Research, and as advisers to the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the Director's Consumer Liaison Group.

KCA's longstanding affiliation with Patient Advocate Foundation enables families to receive prompt assistance with questions related to health insurance, as well as co-pay assistance for drugs.

Nurses working in the biotherapy unit at Providence Portland Medical Center answer patients' questions related to side-effects from medical treatments and also provide referrals to expert physicians.

"Obviously, there are too many KCA collaborations for us to list in a single press release," Konosky adds. "These relationships will be evident to anyone who visits our website at KidneyCancer.org. Recently, we began working with Lotsa Helping Hands, a group that facilitates online connections for families that need help dealing with routine tasks because of a loved one's experience with kidney cancer."

Earlier this year, KCA initiated collaborations with two groups that help patients to raise funds for medical expenses. Details are available on the KCA website, where information about one-to-one patient support through ImermanAngels.org may also be found.

KCA CEO, Bill Bro , a 24-year kidney cancer survivor, serves as a member of NCI's Renal Cancer Task Force, as well as an adviser to the Kidney Cancer SPORE, a federally funded program of research excellence based in Boston.

"During Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, we want to make the people we serve aware of the numerous collaborations that KCA has developed to assist people who are dealing with cancer. Our highly effective partnering with major cancer foundations has resulted in the funding of numerous research awards to young investigators who are rapidly becoming 'super stars' in this field. Truly, together we are stronger," says Bro.

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