In this Issue:

  • How I Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Dialysis Patients and COVID-19: Should I get the vaccine? If I get the virus, should I take the antibody treatment?
  • The COVID-19 Vaccine is Finally Here. Learn How to Manage Anxiety and Impatience While You Wait
  • New Organ Transplant Guideline Promotes Patient Safety, Organ Availability
  • How to Prepare Your Child for a Hospitalization
  • DPC’s State Advocacy Program Works to Advance State Policies that Improve Dialysis Patient Outcomes
  • Spanish Resources Available!
  • Join Us by Telephone for Our New Program!
  • Cystinosis: A Rare and Under-Recognized Cause of Kidney Failure
  • My Experience Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic While Living With A Kidney Transplant
  • Getting Fit After Transplant
  • What We Learned from Care Partners
  • Ask your Nephrologist: What is happening to my skin and nails?
  • There Is No Place Like Home
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President’s Message

I want to thank our Board of Directors, staff, and our Dialysis Patient Community for this opportunity to serve you as the new President of DPC’s Education Center. I want to thank Nancy Scott (our founder) for creating a space for our organization to educate and deliver the tools needed to fight this illness. Her shoes will be tough to fill so my goal will be to continue in her footsteps and carry on our mission to empower individuals through education, to improve kidney patients’ quality of life and reduce the occurrence of end stage renal disease (ESRD).

As a kidney transplant recipient, who suffered from ESRD, I know firsthand the importance of patient education and the critical role it plays in improving our health. My goal is that we share our experiences with others in various communities, who may be unaware of our fight. That way we can better prepare patients to take the necessary steps to improve their self-care and possibly become transplant recipients.

As the world is in a race to improve the fight against COVID-19, U.S. President Biden signed an executive order that requires our government to take meaningful steps to prevent and reduce the number of patients that contract COVID-19. He also laid out his COVID-19 vaccination plan. As kidney patients, we should take all precautions to follow the CDC guidelines of wearing a mask while receiving treatments in all clinical settings. Patients should follow CDC’s guidelines for wearing gloves which will vary by situation. Usually, patients are not required to wear gloves during dialysis treatment. You can find more information about when
to wear gloves at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/gloves.html. Kidney disease and transplant patients who received the vaccine, who are waiting for the vaccine or who decide not to receive the vaccine still must remember to minimize their risk of exposure.

The DPC Education Center’s mission is to educate our community with the knowledge you need to make educated decisions about your healthcare. In the words of Hrant Jamgochian, our DPC Chief Executive Officer, “disease advocacy transcends politics.” As advocates and concerned citizens, it is our responsibility to focus on ensuring the best quality of life for all patients. Do your research, seek your providers for counsel and expert advice to help assist you in making the right decision for your health. We at the DPC Education Center urge you to be proactive in your healthcare. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do research and educate yourself about your health. Looking beyond COVID-19, we need to detect kidney disease earlier so patients can have a chance to slow its progression and potentially avoid kidney failure. Approximately 80 million adults are at risk for kidney disease, mostly due to diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

We will also continue to provide information and programs about kidney disease, treatment choices, patient empowerment, communication, medical advancements and tips and tools you can use to improve your health outcomes. I want to thank the kidney community for its continued support with getting out our critical information and spreading the word about our educational content. I hope I can count on your support as we fulfill our mission. I will continue to advocate for us because there is still a lot of work to be done to raise awareness and inform the community about kidney disease. It is an honor to accept this position and to help educate our community, as it will not only help save lives but also my own.

Sincerely,

Merida Bourjolly
DPC Education Center
Board President