ABOUT US

MISSION STATEMENT

The Early Kidney Detection Foundation is dedicated to promoting kidney health, raising awareness about kidney disease, and advancing early detection methods for better health outcomes. Our mission is to empower individuals with the knowledge and resources they need to protect their kidney health, prevent kidney disease, and improve overall well-being.

VISION STATEMENT

The Early Kidney Detection Foundation (EKDF) dreams of a future free from the shadow of chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this ideal world, we envision a society with widespread awareness of CKD. Everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, would understand the risk factors, symptoms, and critical importance of early detection. Accessible screening programs would become the norm, ensuring CKD is identified in its earliest stages.

VALUES

The Early Kidney Detection Foundation (EKDF) is driven by a core set of values that define our approach to combating chronic kidney disease (CKD). These values guide our every decision and action:

  • Patient Focus: We prioritize the well-being of individuals living with CKD. Empowering patients through education, support, and access to resources is at the heart of our mission.
  • Prevention and Early Detection: We believe early detection is critical for managing CKD effectively. We advocate for widespread awareness and accessible screening programs to identify CKD at its earliest stages.
  • Community Engagement: We recognize the power of community collaboration. We partner with healthcare professionals, community organizations, and individuals to create a united front against CKD.
  • Research Advocacy: We champion the importance of research in finding better diagnostics, treatment options, and ultimately, a cure for CKD. We advocate for increased funding and collaboration in research efforts.
  • Integrity and Transparency: We are committed to ethical practices, responsible fundraising, and open communication with our donors, supporters, and the public.
  • Equity and Inclusivity: We strive to ensure our programs and resources are accessible to all communities, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.

These values are the foundation upon which the EKDF builds its programs and initiatives. By upholding these principles, we aim to create a lasting impact on the lives of those affected by CKD.

OUR STORY

My journey as a caregiver began when I became a live-in caregiver for a client who had undergone a kidney transplant, managed diabetes, and survived triple bypass surgery. Despite the challenges, I am grateful that he had a second chance at life, although it was cut short when he passed away at the age of 67. This experience profoundly impacted me, especially given my personal connections to kidney disease. My mother, diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, passed away at the age of 58. Additionally, my older sister had a kidney transplant 15 years ago. As a mother of a daughter and grandmother to two grandchildren, I live with the concern that I might also have polycystic kidney disease, a condition that is difficult to detect due to a lack of skilled medical diagnosis. Driven by this personal connection, I traveled to Washington, D.C., from May 13-16 to meet with members of Congress and advocate for their support in cosponsoring H.R. 5027. This bill includes provisions for including kidney screening in the annual Medicare wellness benefit, expanding the Medicare Kidney Disease Education benefit, and guaranteeing access to Medigap plans for all Medicare ESRD patients, regardless of age or state. My advocacy efforts are deeply rooted in my experiences and my commitment to making a difference. I was actively involved in campaigning for California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which reclassified many independent contractors as employees, granting them labor protections and benefits. I also played a significant role in promoting the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, where I was a plenary speaker in Congress. This bill aims to ensure fair labor standards for domestic workers, recognizing their essential contributions to the workforce. Additionally, I campaigned for Stacey Abrams in her gubernatorial race and worked with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) to craft a vision of fairness and equity. The NDWA is a prominent organization dedicated to advocating for the rights and dignity of domestic workers across the United States. My involvement with the NDWA included serving as a worker council member on a national level from 2018-2019, where I was recognized for my leadership. In 2016, I served as a field organizer for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Philadelphia, working tirelessly to mobilize voters and support the party’s platform. I also had the honor of moderating discussions with Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in California, focusing on key issues affecting our communities. My efforts have been recognized with several awards, including recognition from the National Small Business Association for 2023-2024 and a Certificate of Congressional Recognition by the Asian Business to Business in 2021.

OUR TEAM

CARMEL M FOSTER
CEO

Carmel M. Foster’s journey as a caregiver began with a deeply personal connection to kidney
disease. Inspired by her experiences caring for a client who underwent a kidney transplant,
managed diabetes, and survived triple bypass surgery, Carmel became a passionate advocate for
kidney health. Her dedication led her to found the Early Kidney Detection Foundation (EKD) with the
mission of promoting kidney health and early detection initiatives.
As CEO and Executive Director of EKD, Carmel brings a wealth of experience in advocacy,
legislative reform, and healthcare management to her role. She has worked tirelessly to advance
kidney disease detection and support, notably spearheading efforts to pass H.R. 5027. This critical
bill aims to enhance kidney disease detection and support by integrating kidney screening into the
annual Medicare wellness benefit, expanding the Medicare Kidney Disease Education benefit, and
ensuring access to Medigap plans for all Medicare ESRD patients, regardless of age or state.
Carmel’s advocacy extends beyond kidney health to championing the rights of domestic workers.
She played a pivotal role in the passage of California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which reclassified many
independent contractors as employees, granting them essential labor protections such as
minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. This
landmark legislation significantly impacts gig economy workers, ensuring they receive fair labor
standards and benefits.
In addition to her advocacy work, Carmel serves as a kidney coach, providing invaluable guidance
and support to individuals affected by kidney disease. Through personalized coaching, she helps
patients understand their condition, navigate treatment options, and adopt healthy lifestyle
practices.

Diyaanah Marcianelli
CHAIRPERSON

Diyaanah brings a unique blend of passion for community upliftment, expertise in hygiene and
cleaning sectors, and personal experience with renal health issues to her role as Chairperson of
the Early Kidney Detection Foundation’s non-executive board.
Diyaanah’s journey is deeply intertwined with her commitment to empowering underserved
communities. With a background in hygiene and cleaning accreditation, she has dedicated her
career to promoting health and well-being, particularly among marginalized populations. Her
expertise in this sector provides valuable insights into public health initiatives and community
engagement strategies.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Diyaanah’s personal history of polycystic kidney disease adds
a profound dimension to her advocacy work. Despite her own health challenges, she remains
steadfast in her dedication to raising awareness about kidney health and ensuring access to early
detection and treatment options for all.
Diyaanah’s alignment with HR5027, a legislative effort aimed at enhancing kidney transplant
accessibility and advancing research, stems from her belief in equitable healthcare for all
individuals, regardless of socioeconomic status. She recognizes the significance of this legislation
in addressing disparities in renal healthcare and its potential to positively impact vulnerable
communities.
As Chairperson, Diyaanah brings a compassionate and inclusive approach to leadership,
prioritizing collaboration and community-driven solutions. Her unwavering commitment to uplifting
impoverished communities, coupled with her expertise and personal experiences, makes her a
driving force in advancing the EKD’s mission of promoting kidney health and early detection
initiatives.

Eunice Foster
BOARD SECRETARY

Eunice ‘s experience and passion for kidney health make her a valuable addition to the EKD’s non
executive board. With a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those with renal issues,
Eunice brings a global perspective to the foundation’s mission. Her journey with polycystic kidney
disease and subsequent transplant surgery fifteen years ago fuels her advocacy for early detection
and accessible treatment options.
In her role as Board Secretary, Eunice is responsible for ensuring accurate documentation of board
meetings, maintaining records, and facilitating communication among board members. Her
attention to detail and organizational skills contribute to the smooth operation of board activities.
Eunice’s advocacy for HR5027, a legislative initiative aimed at improving kidney transplant
accessibility and advancing research, aligns closely with the EKD’s goals. Her international outlook
enriches discussions on healthcare disparities and innovative solutions, benefiting not only the
foundation but also communities worldwide.
As a non-executive board member, Eunice Foster’s collaboration and innovation, driving the EKD’s
mission forward with resilience and dedication. Her commitment to improving kidney health on a
global scale underscores the foundation’s impact and relevance in addressing renal health
challenges across borders.

OUR PARTNERS

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