New Volunteer Program Makes Dialysis a Little Bit More Bearable

December 08, 2016, 9:51am EST

Drive for Dialysis
For thousands of individuals facing kidney failure, dialysis is a lifeline – but it is not without challenges. The demanding 4-hour regimen often impacts one’s ability to maintain a job, to spend time with loved ones or travel without restriction. NKF and its community partners strive to provide comfort and support through volunteerism. 
 
Twenty-five Sanofi employees took time out of their hectic workday this fall to assemble care packages for 100 dialysis patients to brighten their spirits and make the long hours of treatment a little more bearable.
 
While preparing the packages, provided through NKF’s new corporate volunteer program, Drive for Dialysis, Sanofi staff were educated about the risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the importance of early detection. Most of all, they gained a better understanding of what it means to be on dialysis.
 
The care packages were designed to meet the needs of patients, including items that can be enjoyed with the use of only one hand or help to pass the time in comfort. A stress ball, for example, promotes blood flow while a custom water bottle makes it easy to monitor liquid consumption. The bags also include information about vital NKF resources where patients can seek additional support or learn how to manage their condition.
 
Participating companies can elect to enhance the standard care package by hosting their own in-office drive. NKF will work with your organization to design a volunteer-based opportunity that meets your unique needs.
 
Sanofi made it personal: volunteers took the extra time to hand-write notes of encouragement and affix them to each package. In celebration of Halloween, Sanofi staff visited the Rogosin Institute to deliver the packages to grateful patients receiving treatment, and provide some much-needed joy.
 
As you’re gearing up for the holidays or considering a New Year’s resolution, make time to give back by volunteering. Engage your organization and rally your colleagues to support dialysis patients in the community.
 
Contact Alyssa.FranklinMurray@kidney.org to find out how to host a Drive for Dialysis opportunity in your office.