Delia Jervier: A Passion for Prevention

A devoted single mother, competitive athlete and all-around dynamo, Delia Jervier has neither the time nor inclination for self-pity. "I don't like the whole ‘why me?' mentality - I won't have it," says Jervier, 37, who was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago.

Jervier became a chronic kidney disease patient without any real warning. Seemingly healthy and fit, she had gone to a hospital emergency room after experiencing heavy bleeding. She was admitted for tests and stunned speechless by the diagnosis: kidney failure.

"I thought the doctor was coming in to tell me I could go home," Jervier says. Instead, he told Jervier she needed to begin dialysis as soon as possible. The irony, says Jervier, is that she had previously volunteered at a National Kidney Foundation KEEP screening. She was "so impressed with the importance of early screening," that Jervier then coordinated a KEEP screening for the American Diabetes Association where she worked as an event planner. But she was never screened herself and did not get the benefits of early detection that could possibly have prevented further kidney damage. "After my diagnosis it was natural to seek out information for myself and to offer to do whatever I could to raise awareness and educate others," says Jervier. Jervier is a huge advocate for KEEP and tells everyone she knows to get screened if they fall into the risk categories. She's also joined NKF's People Like Us patient empowerment movement and say it has given her "the opportunity to talk to people and to listen to others going through the same experiences, as well as to let our lawmakers know what chronic care kidney patients need and deserve."

Although Jervier sometimes has hard moments, she is proud of her strong faith and wonderful son, Nicholas and is thrilled to be able to work full time and to help others." A former marathoner, Jervier is determined not to become a couch potato. "I took up cycling," Jervier says proudly. "I recently completed 50K."