I’m the new ‘kid’ on the block, I suppose. I went on dialysis a little over a year ago (2014), after suffering congestive heart failure. Dialysis has not only changed my life but also changed my outlook on life. While I live in Portland, Oregon – one of the most ‘social activist’ cities in America, I was not one to march, protest or advocate for anything. I thought my voice would neither be heard nor mattered. I admit I was wrong.
I attended DPC’s 2015 World Kidney Day Fly-In and my perspective changed. My voice could be heard. When added to other voices, it only grew stronger and louder. I was inspired to become a Patient Ambassador and advocate. I have not looked back ever since. Working with DPC to advocate for kidney and dialysis patients has shown me I can affect change. Together, we can make an impact. From meeting with legislators to testifying at hearings to sharing my 'story,' I can contribute to the cause.
Education and outreach are two areas where I hope to make a difference. I found that being on dialysis can be overwhelming for new patients, and even misunderstood, in many ‘under-served’ communities. I want that to change. I am so very honored and humbled to have been elected to the Board and am equally excited to be a part of such a dynamic and meaningful organization like Dialysis Patient Citizens.