In this Issue:

  • The DPC Support Group is 1 Year Old and Going Strong
  • Be Sure to Check Our Library of Webinars!
  • To Change or Not to Change?
  • The Courage to Self-Cannulate Taking Control Means Less Pain, More Independence
  • COVID-19 and Patients with Kidney Disease on Dialysis
  • Falling by the Wayside? Falls Prevention in Dialysis
  • Living with Chronic Illness and Bipolar: A Story of Resilience
  • My Experience as a Kidney Patient in CKD, Dialysis, and Transplant
  • How to Move Out of Loneliness and Isolation
  • Treating Depression When You’re on Dialysis
  • Wellness and Mental Health While Living with Rare Disease
  • DPC’s State Advocacy Efforts Flourish with Elevated Voice of DPC Patient Ambassadors
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President’s Message

Spring is a time for change and new beginnings. Living through the COVID-19 pandemic may have more people focused on both their physical and mental health with the motivation needed to make changes. Many of us are experiencing life changes. I personally go through a thoughtful renewing of life and reconfirming what is important to me every year. Join me and take advantage of this Spring to make a difference in your own mental health, physical health, and personal awareness.

A change that I made in my life was to join Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) after I researched ways to become more educated and empowered as a person living with kidney disease. DPC is a patient-led organization working to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients through education and advocacy. With the information I learned on the DPC website I was able to make better informed decisions on the matters of my health. I was also able to better understand the policies that could affect the kidney community and then decide if I wanted to support these policies.

After joining DPC, I became more aware of the effort and the fight that is made to bring awareness to kidney health and kidney disease. As a DPC Patient Advocate in my home state of New York, I was able to meet and work with physicians, health-care providers, health policy experts, dialysis technicians, and patients like myself, who join in the cause to speak to our government officials and urge them to support and pass bills that put
the care of our patients first. Our membership numbers add to our voice within the kidney community and with government officials.

Join us in making a difference for those with kidney disease by becoming a DPC member today. DPC membership is free and is open to patients, their families, and caregivers. Input from our members helps to determine our education and advocacy priorities. Members have the opportunity to attend our annual fly-in and get a heads up on actions needed to pass policies that benefit kidney patients. This newsletter, the patient webinars, the telephone support group, and resources on our two web sites also are available to you. Share our information with your family and friends to help them become more knowledgeable about your health condition.

We need your help to remind policy makers that we are real people and not just a line-item in their budget. You have the opportunity to make a huge impact by calling, emailing, or writing to share your story with your elected officials. As a DPC member we can supply you with information you can share with your dialysis center and with your health care professional. Having more information at your fingertips will also bridge the gap of awareness when it comes to communicating with your health care team. As a DPC member you can also apply to be a Patient Ambassador, which will give you the opportunity to become a leader, a role model, and a beacon of hope in your community. Join us in making CKD a high priority on the government health agendas.

As you spring into action to reflect, learn, and become an advocate, enjoy the rest of this issue, and learn more about topics such as mental health, cystinosis, preventing falls, nutrition through the CKD stages, and self-cannulation. Always keep learning and share information with your caregivers and invite them to watch/listen to our webinars. This will strengthen your support system to help you learn about and achieve better outcomes for your health. Be empowered, tell your story, and ask politicians to adopt policies that will improve the quality of life for all kidney patients.

Stay safe and well wishes,

Merida Bourjolly
DPC Education Center
Board President