NEW YORK, NY--More than 380,000 Americans are currently on dialysis and due to increased rates of kidney failure, that number is on the rise. Those who are newly-diagnosed often experience fear of the unknown and even depression. To help patients understand what's involved and demonstrate that dialysis can be both life-saving and life-enhancing, the NKF created "Dialysis Saves Lives," a new video that focuses on four patients, ages 9-70, who share their experiences on camera. Viewers can follow the patients' initial fear at being diagnosed, treatment routines and ultimate realization that they can still lead normal, productive lives.
Dolores Bisagni, of Long Island, New York, shone the spotlight on dialysis when she appeared on CBS-TV's "Undercover Boss" in her real-life role as coffee maven at the local 7-Eleven. In the video, she recounts her first reaction, "To tell the truth, I didn't know anything about kidney disease until it hit me. I knew nothing about dialysis or the high blood pressure that led to it, but all I know is that without the cleaning my blood is going through now, I'd die." Bisagni enjoys her children and grandchildren and works three days a week making coffee at 7-Eleven.
Mayra Martinez, of Chula Vista, California, a Grammy-award winning member of the "Mariachi Divas," says, "You can do a lot of things while on dialysis. Life goes on. This illness is not going to stop me from making my dreams come true."
Sandy Willard, of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, recalls her family's shock when her young daughter, Sydney, was diagnosed with kidney failure and their ability to adjust to their new reality. "We chose peritoneal dialysis," says Sandy. "This way, she undergoes treatment while she's sleeping, she barely feels it and it suits our family's lifestyle. We can travel and Sydney can play dodgeball and baseball.She has chores, she gets grounded…she's a normal 9-year-old kid. She just has kidney disease."
Grizz Chapman, of Yonkers, NY, continued his role on NBC-TV's Emmy award-winning "30 Rock" while on dialysis. "I was determined not to let the disease beat me. The whole experience taught me not to take anything for granted." The six minute video was created in partnership with Fresenius Medical Care and is posted on NKF's YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/NHS0oyHR4vI
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.