Mission and History

Mission

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois improves the health and well-being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment.

History

In 1949, a small but mighty group of parents desperate to find a cure to keep their children from dying of childhood nephrosis formed an organization called the Chicago League for Nephritic Children. The purpose of the organization was to fund medical research to help keep these children alive. Through doorbell ringing campaigns, walks, and candy sales, these volunteers raised funds.

In the early 1960's, members of the Chicago League for Nephritic Children joined forces with similar organizations throughout the country to become affiliates of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), based in New York, NY. In 1964, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois received its official charter as an affiliate of the NKF, and we are proud to be one of the founding affiliates.

NKFI Today

Through its mission of prevention, education and empowerment, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois has since evolved into a multi-faceted non-profit organization. Educational programs and support are provided for individuals living with kidney disease and their families, continuing education programs for healthcare professionals, and advocacy to advance initiatives that directly affect the care and treatment of kidney disease.

Through the KidneyMobile® program, the most comprehensive and accessible screening, education and referral program of its kind, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is able to offer free prevention education and health screenings throughout the state, educating communities about the growing epidemic of kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure and the ways in which these diseases can be prevented.

Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Illinois belong to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Professional Advisory Board, Illinois Council of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians, Illinois Council on Renal Nutrition and Illinois Council of Nephrology Social Workers, all of whom develop educational programs for their members and work with the foundation's staff and committees to provide information, education, and programs for patients.

Additionally, the NKF, its affiliates and divisions are leaders in the funding of medical research in the area of kidney disease. Over one third of the medical research funded for kidney disease in the United States is funded by the NKF, its affiliates and divisions.

Tony Noel Center

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois main office is located in the Tony Noel Center in Chicago, IL.  Tony Noel was an exceptional young man who accomplished a lot in his 37 years.  A three-time kidney transplant recipient and dialysis patient, Tony understood the needs of kidney patients living in Illinois. He was dedicated to raising funds for the NKFI, and in 2001, just a few years after he passed away, Tony’s parents, Rosann and Dick Noel, purchased the River North loft that is now the home of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. It is called the Tony Noel Center to remember and honor Tony.  For their gift and continued generosity, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is ever grateful.