Congressman Donald Payne Jr. is a Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. He has end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and receives in-center dialysis treatment multiple times a week. Payne spoke with advocates during DPC’s 2019 Annual Fly-In about his experience with dialysis and the efforts he is taking to elevate the patient voice.

Payne’s incidence with kidney failure is similar to the stories shared by thousands of people on dialysis. The progression of his diabetes led to the decline in his kidney function, and Payne speaks openly about his struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Establishing dialysis access has been a challenge, and problems with cramping have been issues for Payne while undergoing treatment. Despite the challenges he has faced with his treatment, Payne works hard to ensure optimal dialysis care for all patients through continual improvement of public policy.

Like DPC, improving the quality of life for dialysis citizens through education and advocacy is of great importance to Payne. Access to high quality health care is a top priority. In addition, Payne understands that many Americans are unable to afford or access the necessary health care they need to survive and has advocated in Congress to better address these problems.