NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Today actor Danny Glover kicks off Anemia LifeLine(TM), a new educational initiative created to help improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from anemia associated with many common, serious diseases. Anemia LifeLine was developed by Amgen, in collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), The Wellness Community and the National Anemia Action Council (NAAC).
People with serious illnesses like chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of developing anemia. Anemia associated with serious diseases can be a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body's organs and tissues. Anemia causes significant fatigue, weakness and can even damage the heart. Anemia can be difficult to identify because early symptoms may be mild and it is easy to mistake some symptoms of anemia for other symptoms of serious disease or medication side effects.
The Anemia LifeLine program is designed to:
Increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of anemia associated with serious diseases;
Provide educational materials about this type of anemia to patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals;
Encourage people who may be suffering from anemia to seek diagnosis and treatment; and
Promote understanding that treating anemia can help patients with serious diseases live healthier and more productive lives.
"Anemia can affect a person's energy level and even can lead to heart disease," said award-winning actor Danny Glover, who serves as the Anemia LifeLine national spokesperson. "The good news is that anemia can be treated. I've seen how devastating anemia can be. My father suffered from anemia associated with chronic kidney disease. Once his anemia was diagnosed and properly treated, his energy level increased and he regained his independence."
Anemia can be diagnosed through a simple blood test to check hemoglobin levels. On average, a normal hemoglobin range is between 12 and 18 g/dL (grams per deciliter) of blood.
To spread this message of hope, throughout 2002, Mr. Glover will make special appearances around the country at NKF Kidney Walks, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation and its local affiliates, where he will address the public about anemia. He also will be featured in public service announcements and in Anemia LifeLine educational materials, including a patient brochure and "What's Your AQ?(TM)" (Anemia Quotient) self quiz. These materials, additional information about anemia and serious diseases and details about the NKF Kidney Walks will be available to the public via the Anemia LifeLine toll- free information line (1-888-722-4407) and Web site (http://www.anemia.com).
The national retail partner for Anemia LifeLine is General Growth Properties (GGP), one of the nation's largest shopping center owners, managers and developers. Beginning in March 2002, Mr. Glover will be featured in an anemia awareness campaign that will be distributed to and displayed at GGP's malls throughout the country. He also will participate in several special events at select mall locations across the country. Anemia LifeLine educational materials will be distributed at these events.
"Anemia can make coping with a serious disease even more difficult," said George Morrow, Amgen's executive vice president of worldwide marketing and sales. "Amgen is proud to be sponsoring Anemia LifeLine with the National Kidney Foundation, The Wellness Community and the National Anemia Action Council. This new initiative reflects our commitment to improving the health and lives of the millions of people affected by this life-threatening condition."
"Anemia strikes millions of people who also suffer from chronic kidney disease in America," said William F. Keane, MD, President of the National Kidney Foundation. "The National Kidney Foundation believes Anemia LifeLine will be an important resource for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals."
Heart & Soul, Men's Health, Prevention and Savoy magazines have joined Anemia LifeLine to help raise awareness of anemia associated with serious diseases and the Anemia LifeLine program throughout 2002.
The National Kidney Foundation, Inc. (NKF) was established to promote a better understanding of kidney and urologic diseases in the United States, to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and to increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.
The Wellness Community helps people with cancer and their loved ones enhance their health and well being by providing a free professional program of emotional support, education and hope.
The National Anemia Action Council (NAAC), a coalition representing various clinical specialties, serves as a catalyst to raise awareness about anemia, its prevalence, causes and treatment options.
Amgen Inc. is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology.
For more information about Anemia LifeLine, please call the Anemia LifeLine toll-free information line at 1-888-722-4407 or visit http://www.anemia.com. To arrange interviews with Mr. Glover and other representatives of the Anemia LifeLine, please call Khristina Lew of the Chandler Chicco Agency at 212-229-8419.
To obtain a high resolution, publication-ready image for free editorial use, please visit http://www.wirepix.com/newsphotos. Photo will be available Wednesday, February 27, 2002 after 2:00 p.m. EST.
MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X43910916
SOURCE Amgen, National Kidney Foundation, The Wellness Community and National
Anemia Action Council
CONTACT: Michael J. Beckerich of Amgen, +1-805-447-8925/