Friday, July 23, 2010

Welcome to My World as a Person With Chronic Kidney Disease Taking Peritoneal Dialysis Treatments

Many of you have expressed an interest in my experience as a person with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and End Stage Renal Failure. While this condition is as serious as it sounds, it does not mean the end of a good quality of life as I pursue the need for a kidney.

First, let me say that I continue to be active and feel good. I make this point because when people hear that I am on dialysis, they generally express their sympathy and/or look very sad. Most people have heard the stories of how tired many people are when they are on dialysis. When I first started dialysis, using another type of dialysis, I had that experience and not every person the same experience. But, since I started home-based peritoneal dialysis (PD), I don’t any more.

Peritoneal dialysis has given me a good portion of my lifestyle back. Instead of taking an intense four-hour treatment three to four times per week, I take a treatment each night while I am asleep. It’s not painful and for the most part does not interrupt my sleep. It also means that I have my waking hours available to do things outside of my home. The PD machine is portable and allows me to travel. And Baxter makes it convenient by delivering the supplies for the treatment to anyplace that I travel.

After speaking with me several times and inquiring about my health, my friend, Toya Evans, encouraged me to write some short blogs about my experience. She felt that it would help many people overcome their fear. In future blogs, I will show you the machine and tell you about my daily experience. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. (For those of you who know me, you know that I will tell you the whole truth.)
Thanks for your support and I look forward to hearing from you. I invite you to join my blog.

Glenda V. Roberts

If you support the prevention of chronic kidney disease and organ donation, prove it - GET A CKD BRACELET TODAY!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Living Donor's Assistance Program

People ask me "Why should I care about kidney disease or transplants?"

I offer 3 reasons - decreasing the occurrence of these conditions would help reduce our taxes, 1 in 4 people will develop kidney disease and it can often be avoided or delayed by healthy lifestyle choices and there is a shortage of donors for transplants, which has a more positive impact on our taxes over the long haul.

Currently expenses associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) represent 30% of the Medicare budget. Simply by reducing that number we positively impact the taxes required to fund the program. I can only imagine the impact of kidney disease on the new healthcare program. I fully expect them to mirror the Medicare expenses as a percentage.

Today, about 1 in 7 people suffers from CKD. However, that number is expected to increase to approximately 1 in 4 because of the rising obesity rate. “Obesity triples the risk of chronic kidney failure” (Science Daily). According to the Center for Disease Control, "American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, non-healthy foods, and physical inactivity. Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obesity," the risks increase for various conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and a variety of others.

But more importantly, anyone can develop kidney problems, according to the American Kidney Fund. Many people that are currently affected with problems are unaware. Certain people are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, particularly those who

- Have diabetes
- Have high blood pressure / hypertension
- Have a family member with kidney disease
- Are African American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian

Kidney disease affects everyone either directly or indirectly. Given the current state of affairs, together with the troubling trends relative to obesity, there is a very good chance that you or someone that you care about will develop one of thes conditions - unless we do something to change things.
Ideally, we would avoid this disease completely or, at least, delay its onset. Other than those of us who develop kidney disease because of a family history, many of the contributing factors are related to our habits and lifestyle choices (e.g. food, exercise). These are things that we can control.
For those of us who develop the disease, there are no cures, but there are treatment options. They are lifestyle management, dialysis, transplant or no action, which will usually result in a shorter lifespan. Looking at the options from an impact on society, quality of life issues aside, the financial analysis would suggest that it would be best for everyone with the disease to get a transplant. Assuming that the annual cost of dialysis is ~$70,000 per year and the initial cost of a transplant ~$110,000, when you factor in the cost of immunosuppressant drugs, the breakeven point of a transplant versus dialysis is ~2.5 years. In light of these assumptions and the current economic situation, one might ask "why wouldn't everyone opt for a transplant?". The answer is largely due to the shortage of donor organs.
The Paired Kidney Exchange Program, a recent development in the healthcare industry, make it more likely that more people can get a transplant. This program means that a donor and the intended recipent no longer have to have compatible blood or tissues. Learn more about this and other important topics related to living donors and potential transplant recipents at

Glenda V. Roberts
Executive Committee

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Living Donor's Assistance Program

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues:

Kidney disease is a serious threat to the African-American community. Consider these alarming statistics from the National Kidney Disease Education Program and the Office of Minority Health ...

- African Americans are four times more likely than whites to develop kidney disease which requires dialysis or transplant
- African Americans make up 12 percent of the population, BUT represent 32 percent of kidney disease patients, 12 percent of donors and 23 percent of those on the kidney transplant waiting list
- Each day, about 77 people receive organ transplants. However, 19 people die each day waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs -- African Americans are disproportionately represented in this number.

You might be asking yourself, what this has to do with you. I'm glad you asked! Many of us know or know of someone whose life has been impacted by the debilitating effects of kidney disease. Today, I'd like to share the story of one of my dearest friends - Glenda. Glenda is the face of the statistics I shared with you earlier. She suffers from kidney disease and is currently participating in the Living Donor Program sponsored by the University of Washington Medical Center. She needs a kidney transplant and is one of over 83,000 individuals on the transplant waitlist.

What I'd like to share with you about Glenda is that she is a fighter and is using her own situation to help others. Through you can help those in need of organ donations . OUI's mission is to-- provide research and education, donor financial assistance, volunteer opportunities and more.

Check out and donate to a wonderful cause. No amount is too small even if you can only afford $1.00, your contribution will be appreciated. Please share this with your circle of family, friends and colleagues for a great cause. Join me as I help my friend and others in the living donor program. Make a donation, consider becoming a donor, volunteer, educate. Your gift is making a difference in the fight against kidney disease.

Thank you for your support and prayers,

Toya L. Evans
Executive Committee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Living Donor's Assistance Program

The OUI Works Donor Assistance Program is a non-profit organization providing services to help families defray the spiraling cost of healthcare. After Medicare and Medicaid portions of the medical bill are paid and all deductible are met frequently the remaining balance is still a major burden for most individuals and families. The cost of healthcare for short and long term illnesses are exorbitant leaving families on the edge of a financial crisis making it difficult to almost impossible to make ends meet. When one considers the burden and stress related to covering medical expenses and the desire to have a family member return to optimum health it can seem quite often insurmountable.

The OUI Works Living Donor Assistance Program will work with families to qualify them for assistance helping in those unique or special cases where we can provide assistance by reducing and frequently eliminating healthcare related cost for living donors.
Please take a moment to visit our website at or send us a more personal note to Contact Us. Right now you have an opportunity to reach the broader community of OUIWorks bloggers and spread the word about kidney disease. Help us educate and communicate to the world -- make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Thank you for your support and donations.

Cal Sturdivant
Executive Committee