4 Ways You Can Take Action Against Kidney Disease

February 23, 2022, 9:31am EST

person using megaphone

In 2021, the kidney community helped improve, sustain, and extend the lives of many people with kidney disease. NKF asked some of these people what they plan to do with the time they've been gifted. They overwhelmingly expressed gratitude and plan to spend time with friends and families, make memories, and pursue their dreams.

We've come far, but there is still work to do. The gift of tomorrow starts today, and it begins with you. Here are four ways you can impact kidney patients' lives in 2022.

1. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR)

 
People with kidney disease and caretakers can help kidney disease researchers by sharing their health data and life experiences. Their voices are crucial to helping scientists, doctors, and researchers:
 
  • Perform better research
  • Improve clinical care
  • Develop drugs
  • Make better health policy decisions

If you sign up for PCOR you may be asked to perform various activities like brainstorming, answering questionnaires, and sharing insights. The goal is to provide people who have lived experience with kidney disease a “seat at the table” to help inform researchers about what matters most to them.

You can help PCOR by joining today.

2. Fundraise

Team Kidney is about what inspires you to become a part of the NKF's national community advocating for the 37 million Americans battling kidney disease. Team Kidney encourages you to fundraise your way: Celebrate an anniversary, honor a loved one, host a charity live stream, or challenge yourself with a 10k. All funds raised will go towards

  • Educating the public
  • Supporting kidney patients
  • Treating kidney disease
  • Advocating for kidney patients in Washington D.C.

NKF provides step-by-step guides so that anyone can create a successful fundraiser.

Learn about fundraising here

3. Become a living donor

The Big Ask Big Give initiative helps people with kidney disease find living kidney donors by giving them the tools they need to ask. It also acts as a resource guide for people considering becoming living donors. There are many benefits to receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor. These include:

  • Genetic matches lower the risk of organ rejection
  • A kidney from a living donor usually functions immediately
  • Early testing to find the most compatible donor
  • The transplant can be scheduled at a convenient time

Donating a kidney is a huge life decision and a life-sustaining gift. Before making this decision, there are many factors to consider, like the risks, mental wellbeing, physical health, and financial situation.

Speak with a trained mentor who's been there about becoming a living donor.

4. Volunteer

NKF provides many opportunities for people to get involved with kidney disease advocacy. There are just a few ways you can volunteer:

  • Join a movement: Use your skills and experience to help run a local Kidney Walk, NKF Golf Classic, or other social events. NKF volunteers can do anything from event setup to event clean-up and everything in between.
  • Create a healthier community: Volunteers can help educate kidney patients and perform community kidney health check-ins.
  • Volunteer in advocacy: Personal stories are powerful. Volunteer advocates can share them with policymakers to motivate them to pass legislation that would benefit millions of lives.

Find open volunteer positions here.