DIARY OF A KIDNEY LOVER
At a party some Sundays ago, a man I’d just met said to me, “You must love kidneys.” No, I wasn’t slurping them up with fava beans and a nice Chianti. (I’m a vegetarian, for the record.) He was referring to my work – the hours I divide between UKRO and DaVita Dialysis. “You give a lot of time to those lucky organs,” he said. I admit that sometimes I am “all kidney all the time.” However, I know I can do more. And this is how I know. I like to read the obituaries. When I come across one eulogizing a lifelong advocate of this or a tireless activist for that, I am particularly inspired. Here was a person who cared enough to fight for something. I want to be that kind of person. I think of some of the dedicated people I have known, past and present – the nurses whose compassion means everything to their patients, the researchers who light up describing the complexity of the kidney. Dedicated people are not necessarily content. They keep pushing themselves. They keep asking themselves how they can do better.
So how can I do better? How can I do more?
First, I will embrace who I am. My name is Michelle and I am a kidney lover. I worked as a DaVita marketing manager for just over 8 years and I continue to work for them as a graphic design consultant. In my time there, I have guided traveling patients to dialysis centers, have organized and attended trade shows for nephrologists and patients and have worked on ads that I hope attracted a few good nurses and doctors. For the last 6 months, I have been working with UKRO, learning more about kidney disease than ever before. That may be because the disease is suddenly personal. My uncle, who is diabetic, started dialysis barely a year ago. And I know way too many diabetics who are at increased risk for kidney disease.
Second, I will raise awareness about this devastating and, in many cases, preventable disease. I will blog about kidney disease, sharing personal stories and the latest news about research, causes, prevention, treatment, diet, whatever I see and hear.
Third, I will make a donation to UKRO. It takes a lot of money and time to make a medical breakthrough, but it does happen. Every dollar helps. Small grants help researchers take their work to the next level so they can get even bigger government grants. With more dollars come more researchers, more ideas, more approaches to a cure.
I am taking a little break from writing this blog, going to our website, clicking on the Donate Now button.
There! It’s done. That was easy. I hope that you’ll join me.
Now I am ready to make it official. I am updating my Facebook status today: Yes, I am a kidney lover!