(October 25, New York, NY) - The National Kidney Foundation and entire kidney community mourns the loss of Derek Forfang, who passed away last week. As NKF Kidney Advocacy Committee and Public Policy Committee Chair, Derek was a tireless volunteer and advocate leader who dedicated himself to ensuring his fellow kidney patients were empowered to shape public policy and make a better future for themselves. His passion and dedication will continue driving our efforts.
NKF CEO Kevin Longino said, “Derek made the most of his three transplants by working to help others receive the gift of life. He also constantly inspired other patients to step up and lead. He would say, ‘Being an advocate saved my life.’ His advocacy saved other lives in turn.”
His leadership was instrumental in the passage of two major pieces of federal legislation in Congress. The first, passed in 2020, provides continued Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients whose Medicare eligibility ends 36 months after receiving their transplant if they do not have other public or private health insurance coverage. The second, passed earlier this year, will help improve the transplant system by promoting innovation, transparency, and accountability across the system as well as improve equity and access to transplantation for all Americans.
Derek was also a strong proponent of raising awareness and driving education around the importance of mental health, particularly for those who are on the transplant waitlist as well as those who have already received a transplant.
To read more about Derek and how he used his voice to share his story and help others benefit from what he learned in the course of his kidney journey, please read this profile that was posted earlier this year.