In 2017, I had a below-knee leg amputation, during which it was discovered my kidneys had deteriorated. These health crises forced me to undergo physical rehabilitation and begin dialysis treatments for my kidneys. While receiving dialysis, I started writing my book on navigating midlife, which was a form of mental therapy.

My book discusses my triumphs and trials as an amputee on dialysis. One of the struggles that I faced, and other kidney patients do as well, is covering the 20% of dialysis that Medicare doesn’t cover. Kidney patients under 65 don’t always have access to private insurance or Medigap plans to cover these leftover costs. This coverage issue is something I am passionate about fixing at the federal level.

I have had rewarding conversations with Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK-5) about this problem facing kidney patients and how we need Congress to do something. I am an avid supporter of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, which expands access to Medigap plans to kidney patients under 65 to cover the total costs of dialysis. I strongly encourage Congresswoman Bice and other representatives from Oklahoma to co-sponsor this legislation and pass this bill.

Darren Lyons, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma