E-Kidney Newsletter July 2009

July 2009


Flu Shot May be Less Effective after Transplant


Kidney transplant patients have a weaker response to influenza immunization than healthy individuals, especially in the first six months after receiving a transplant, according to a study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

Respiratory viral infections are common among transplant patients, and are cause for concern because they can be particularly harmful to people with suppressed immune systems, noted Kelly A. Birdwell, MD, MSCI, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee in her report.

Should transplant recipients receive a flu shot? Read on.


Rusty Wallace: NASCAR Champion Accelerates Charitable Giving

Rusty Wallace never let anyone pass him on the race track and he wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to help win the race against kidney disease. A former NASCAR champion who got hooked on the sport at 16, Wallace is thrilled to help accelerate charitable donations through the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Cars Program.

He simply can't get enough of cars. He hit the brakes on his racing career after 55 NASCAR wins over the course of 25 years, but he's still in the pit, as racing analyst for ESPN, owner of two Nationwide race car teams and now, by serving as spokesperson for Kidney Cars.

Read more about NKF's newest spokesperson and donate your car


Kidney Stones: Don't Let Them Throw You Off Course

More than a million Americans suffer from kidney stones at some point in their lives, but so many don't know what they are or why they form in the body. Kidney stones are a risk factor for chronic kidney disease and they form because of too little fluid intake, repeated urinary tract infections and limited physical activity, among other reasons.

A kidney stone is a hard mass that occurs when calcium oxalate or other chemicals in the urine form crystals that stick together. These crystals may grow into stones ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Normally, urine contains substances that prevent crystals from forming but these may not work for everyone.

Getting up to speed may help prevent future pain so read on to find out more about symptoms, treatment and prevention.


Helping to Save My Mayor's Life: Donating My Kidney in a Heartbeat

By Kim Dickens

A little more than a year ago, I was sitting and talking with a group of close friends and one of them mentioned that he needed a kidney. It was former DC Mayor, Marion S. Barry Jr., who was on dialysis. I decided right away what I was going to do. Without reservation, I offered to donate one of my kidneys.

All I thought about was being able to help extend his life. Since that split second when I said yes to donation, both of our lives have changed for the better. Although he's now a City Councilman, to me Marion Barry is always my mayor. He was given another chance at life and I've had the awesome experience of giving life to a man who can now continue giving so much to the residents of the District of Columbia.

Click here to read more about Kim's donation to Marion Barry.


A Summertime Smoothie for Diabetics and CKD Patients

When the weather heats up, cool down with this Very Berry Tofu Smoothie. It only takes a few minutes to whip up in the blender, will please any crowd and follows dietary guidelines for diabetics and CKD patients. To summer fun and good health!

If you are on dialysis, please check with your dietitian or other member of your health care team before using this recipe.


Featured Item of the Month: "Love Your Kidneys" Umbrella

Picture this: You're on your way to work, dressed in your newly dry-cleaned shirt and shined shoes, when the skies open up and the rains begin to fall.

The National Kidney Foundation has the perfect solution – the "Love Your Kidneys" umbrella. Don't leave home without this durable umbrella that expands to 42" and folds to a compact 11" for easy storing in your purse or briefcase. At only $12 for NKF members or $16 for non-members, it's a great way to show your support for NKF and kidney patients and keep dry at the same time. Click here to buy yours today and view all the other useful "Love Your Kidneys" items in the store.