By Sage B., Grassroots Manager
This week I am working on World Kidney Day (WKD) materials to help people organize events, contact their lawmakers and educate the public on issues that dialysis patients face. And it reminds me of an old story from my former life as a domestic violence advocate:
In the 1970’s the domestic abuse movement was basically made up of private citizens who were willing to open their homes to victims of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, aside from these very brave individuals, domestic abuse was still seen as a private matter, and lawmakers weren’t about to address it. So in one state, a group of five people took it upon themselves to attend as many political press conferences, fundraisers and town halls as possible and ask lawmakers what they intended to do to address domestic abuse. The lawmakers and the media never picked up on the fact that it was the same five people asking the questions. Instead, they noticed and responded to this growing surge of interest in domestic abuse. Those five individuals volunteered to speak for the countless individuals that couldn’t and as a result laws were passed, people were able to access services and find help.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I walk by these words every day as I go to my desk, because just as they applied to my former work, they apply to the work of our Patient Ambassadors as well. In the early days a few were deciding the dialysis needs of patients. Through the work of a several individuals and the growing support in 1972, Congress acted to provide individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease access to treatment through Medicare.
So all of this is to say join us in World Kidney Month and write a letter, share your story at your place of worship or at a local school. Also don’t be afraid to contact your local newspaper and let them know about Chronic Kidney Disease or notify them about your fundraiser.
DPC has many great tools to help you with your project or event. You can find these tools on our website.