Three years ago, I met my first dialysis patient. The image of that patient, lying in a hospital bed in an inpatient unit, so seriously ill, has remained burned in brain. At that time, I knew nothing about dialysis. A supervisor of mine worked in dialysis and recommended that I look for a job in the field. Since I followed her advice, I’ve met over 500 people on dialysis and many people who will need dialysis one day. Many of the patients in my clinic have said that if they had known that they were at risk for kidney disease early on, they might have done things differently. Had they known about dialysis, the transition to it would have been much smoother. Dialysis is a miracle for many people, extending their lives when they most certainly would have been given a death sentence years ago.
The Kidney TRUST aims to benefit the 26 million American adults living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), as well as the 485,000 Americans with kidney failure that require dialysis or a kidney transplant. The TRUST was formed to increase awareness of kidney disease through public education and testing programs so that progression of CKD to kidney failure can be delayed or prevented.
The Kidney TRUST was founded in 2006 by DaVita Inc., one of the largest providers of dialysis services in the United States. The mission of The Kidney TRUST is to create a world of hope, health, action and engagement for those affected by CKD. The TRUST is an independent public charity whose programs are intended to complement the efforts of other non-profit organizations that focus on kidney disease, as well as develop solutions to address the critical unmet needs of people with CKD.
The goal of the TRUST’s rapid-testing program is to identify individuals who have signs of kidney impairment. Along with receiving on-site screening results, participants receive materials that offer education about CKD and its prevention, encouraging them to seek medical follow-up as appropriate. This innovative public screening program is carried out in non-medical settings such as large employer workplaces and community health fairs. Through partnerships with employers and community organizations, this screening program is being made available around the United States.
In addition, the TRUST is piloting a financial assistance program for dialysis patients who are privately insured and who face financial challenges in meeting drug and treatment co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance costs.
Tour DaVita is a 240 mile bicycle ride aimed at raising awareness and funding for kidney disease through the Kidney TRUST. Each rider must raise at least $1000 to participate. In addition, each rider must pay their airfare and one night’s hotel stay. This year, I decided that I wanted to get involved, for myself, for my family that has risk factors, and for my clinic because my patients are very important to me. I am asking for donations for my ride. To date, I have raised $600. I still need to raise $400 by August 1st. My ride is in September, the 14th – 18th in Wisconsin. I promise to send each and everyone who donates pictures, stories and thank yous! Please donate to my cause at http://www.tourdavita.org/donate/lovebug6100/index.html.