World Kidney Day Offers Opportunity to Reflect & Chart a Course Forward

World Kidney Day Offers Opportunity to Reflect & Chart a Course Forward

March 10, 2022

Kidney care has been a part of my life for almost a decade. Being on dialysis and having to move out of my home state just to receive a kidney transplant are some of the significant changes I experienced since undergoing my kidney journey. While this journey has been challenging at times, not only have I improved my own health, I have been empowered to be an advocate for better kidney health for all. 

Merida Bourjolly

When someone is diagnosed with kidney disease, the diagnosis doesn’t affect just them. Kidney disease is an “all hands on deck” illness affecting a patient’s entire support system. This disease often requires assistance in the form of time, effort, and energy. Beyond the general day-to-day help, kidney disease is expensive. The costs add up, especially for those who don’t qualify for government assistance. Thankfully, there is a bill in Congress that can alleviate this burden by opening Medigap coverage to those under 65 years old. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act guarantees those affected by kidney disease can access Medigap plans to cover the costs Medicare doesn’t pay for.   

Typically, the average person isn’t aware of the intricacies of kidney disease, and that’s expected. Understanding a unique medical condition is hard enough. When you add in other necessities of kidney disease like understanding medical terminology, navigating through red tape and paperwork, and coordinating among different medical providers, it can become exhausting to manage. I often used a notebook to keep notes on my health to help me in all of my various appointments. That is why I have been a long-term advocate in support of care coordination for kidney disease patients.  

It’s important that this World Kidney Day we not only raise awareness of this disease, but how we can take steps to better provide for those who are diagnosed. We can advocate for increased awareness and health literacy, but providing those who have kidney disease with the services and care they need is just as important. We have the advantages of modern medicine on our side and must use these innovations to benefit all affected. World Kidney Day is an opportunity to celebrate how far we have come with kidney health, and an important reminder that we aren’t yet finished.

Learn more about Merida’s experience from the video below: