This year World Kidney Day was also on International Women’s day. Global organizers took this as an opportunity to focus on women’s health and kidney disease. It’s only appropriate that we feature three courageous women who shared their story with media to spread awareness of kidney disease.

Joyce Lane from Tennessee shared her story of living with Bright’s disease, also known as glomerulonephritis, a condition where the kidney’s glomeruli (filters) are damaged and unable to adequately clean waste from the blood. This condition is inherited and Joyce is one of seven members in her family to be afflicted. Joyce and her family are all fortunate to have received kidney transplants, and Joyce has turned to advocacy to improve the lives of fellow kidney disease patients. You can read more of her story here.

Charlene Tarnowsky from Pennsylvania used Kidney Month as a way to speak to her local media about her dialysis story. Charlene has been a diabetic since the age of 10 and was not the most compliant diabetic. Her unmanaged diabetes lead to kidney failure. She was fortunate to receive a transplant that lasted 8 years but is now back on dialysis. Charlene is committed to teaching young people to be more aware of their health and decrease their sugar intake to prevent diabetes and reduce the risk of kidney disease. You can read and watch more of her story here.

Laurie Church from Minnesota is one of many dialysis patients who “crashed” into the diagnosis. Speaking to her local ABC station, Laurie’s kidney story started at a routine doctor’s appointment only to find out that she was in kidney failure. Unlike most patients whose kidney disease stemmed from high blood pressure or diabetes, Laurie’s kidney issues stem from chronic migraines and over-the-counter medications she took to deal with the pain. Laurie’s story exemplifies the need for increased awareness on all the factors that can damage kidney function. You can read more of her story here.