E-Kidney Newsletter June 2008

NKF Remembers a Visionary Leader: Chuck Fruit

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) mourns the passing of a cherished volunteer, visionary leader and wonderful friend, Chuck Fruit, on May 27.

Chuck's passion for our organization was ignited by his own personal experience. He suffered from kidney disease since he was five years old and received a new kidney 23 years ago – a gift from his older sister, Susie. Although Chuck had a worldwide reputation as a media and sports marketing expert, his humility and down-to-earth personality were what people remembered most about him. When he agreed to serve as Chairman of the NKF National Board, Chuck joked, "The Board made an error in judgment and elected me, but I'm very willing to set aside time to do the job. It's that little bit of payback that I'm always happy to give." He wanted patients to know that the disease doesn't have to rob them of living a vital life and he was certainly a shining example of how far people with kidney disease can go.

For more on Chuck Fruit, click here.


Nikki McKenna: Kidney Recipient Celebrates Father's Day Every Day

Nikki McKennaNikki McKenna had always been an active teenager, playing tennis, softball and participating in cheerleading, but kidney failure and dialysis treatments three times a week for three years greatly diminished her strength. Nikki's life changed completely when she received a new kidney in 1998- a gift from her father, Bernie Redlinger.

"I have always been very close to my father, so Father's Day has always been a special day," said Nikki. "However, when the transplant happened, it made every day like Father's Day for me. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what my dad has done for me. He's my hero. We always celebrate by having a family picnic but as long as we are together on Father's Day, that's all that matters!"

To read more about Nikki's Transplant Games story, click here.
For more information on the U.S. Transplant Games, click here.


A Summertime Recipe from the Kidney Kitchen

Picture this: You are sitting outside on the patio, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and all your neighbors are poking their noses over the fence to bask in the smell of your barbecue. What, you may say, is grilling? How about this kidney-friendly grilled low-salt flat bread.

"This is a great BBQ recipe for the summer. You can sprinkle your favorite salt-free seasonings on your flat bread for a variety of flavors or use your favorite spreads on top to make a flat bread meal or pita-style sandwich," says Duane Sunwold, a member of NKF's Patient Family Council Executive Committee who also happens to be a professional chef.

Click here for the grilled low-salt flat bread recipe.
Click here for more information on diet and kidney disease.


Newly diagnosed with Kidney Disease? Knowledge is Power

Being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be a very trying and difficult time for everyone involved-- the patient, his family and friends. But information can go a long way towards helping gain control of the situation. A patient who knows what's coming up, what to watch out for and what treatment options are available if his kidneys fail totally can make educated decisions about his own healthcare.

For first steps towards creating an action plan click here.
To learn about treatment options click here.


PING and Golf Digest Link Up to Support NKF

The leaders in golf equipment and information are scoring a hole in one for a good cause. PING and Golf Digest have teamed up to help drive down kidney disease with a new campaign called Pingfittedforlife. If you're already fitted for the golf course, get fit for life as well by visiting www.Pingfittedforlife.com and signing up for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Golf Classic event nearest you.

Pingfittedforlife.com features helpful information about kidney disease, a schedule of local Golf Classic tournaments in cities all over the U.S., local scores and photos. The web site also spotlights the opportunity to play at fabled Pebble Beach courses during the NKF's annual Golf Classic National Championship event.

For more on this new partnership, click here.
To sign up for a NKF golf tournament near you click here


Bonnie Schneider: Taking Strides to Save her Son

If you want to get something done, give it to a busy mom to handle. Nearly four years ago, Bonnie Schneider's tow-headed 13-year-old son Eddie told her his urine was the color of "coca-cola." It was blood. Soon afterward, he was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy, a progressive and incurable disease that results in the destruction of the kidney filters through inflammation. There is virtually no treatment for the disease which has a fairly clear and tragic trajectory. In most cases, the patient's kidneys fail within a decade or so, requiring dialysis for survival.

For Bonnie, who along with her detective husband, Ed, lives in Wall Township, a New Jersey shore community, the final blow was learning that there was no ongoing research into the disease.

For more on Bonnie's story click here.
For a full copy of the NKF's research report and directory click here.


NKF and Dialysis Patient Citizens Join Forces on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Kidney Care and Education

Recognizing that an educated patient ultimately has better healthcare outcomes, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) teamed up on May 22 to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would provide comprehensive treatment information to patients prior to the initiation of dialysis.

Forty kidney patients from around the U.S. met with their Members of Congress to discuss the inclusion of the Kidney Care Quality and Education Act (S. 691) in the Medicare bill currently being considered in the Senate. In particular, the patient advocates, representing NKF's "People Like Us" patient empowerment initiative and DPC, requested the establishment of a Medicare pre-dialysis education benefit. This provision was already included in the House Medicare bill, passed last summer.

To read on click here.

To learn become a member of NKF's People Like Us Take Action advocacy team, click here