Kidney Walk, Like the Disease, is a Family Affair

Vedamay Bradford, RN, BHA, MBA
Director of Operations for the West Los Angeles area, Fresenius Kidney Care
Team captain for the Los Angeles Kidney Walk

Vedamay photo blog

Kidney disease doesn’t just affect patients. It affects their entire family. I know. When my dad was diagnosed with kidney disease two and a half years ago, it was an adjustment for all of us. That’s why I’m proud to lead the Fresenius Kidney Care team at the Los Angeles Kidney Walk on October 14, where I’ll be joined by my fiancée, my son, and my sister and her family.

My dad has had high blood pressure for as long as I can remember, and in a family full of medical experts – my mom, sister and I all started our careers as nurses – it was easy for him to think we were being overprotective when we kept repeating that he needed to take care of himself. After all, he didn’t feel any different, so he figured there was nothing to worry about.

Symptoms of kidney disease often go undetected, which is why it’s critical to get screened regularly if you’re at risk. Getting started on an effective treatment plan as soon as possible helps preserve kidney function and may prevent kidney disease or slow its progression.

One day, my dad was unable to urinate. His doctors first thought it was due to his prostate, but when his problems persisted, he was screened for kidney disease and told he needed to start dialysis.

Being a caregiver myself, I can appreciate what families go through when their loved one comes to us for dialysis treatment. Adherence to the kidney diet can be challenging, and in our house, the whole family changed their eating patterns to make this lifestyle transition easier for my dad.

Vedamay photo blog 2

The Kidney Walks help raise awareness – and most importantly, funds – to help in the fight against kidney disease. There is not enough public awareness and education about how kidney disease can manifest in a person. As I learned with my dad, it can happen to any family.

Thirty million people in the United States are currently living with chronic kidney disease, and many of them are thriving. The commitment of the National Kidney Foundation to fund research and raise awareness has been essential to ensuring the advancement of treatments and improved longevity and quality of life for patients. The more money we raise through walks like these, the more we can help the National Kidney Foundation achieve its mission of improving the lives of people with chronic kidney disease everywhere.

I hope you’ll join me.

Meet Our Inaugural Kidney Walk National Corporate Chair: Bill Valle

With the Fall season right around the corner, the 2018 Kidney Walks are off to a great start! In the spring, more than 30,000 participants laced up their shoes to walk for and with the kidney community.

Bill Valle Head Shot

Additionally, Bill Valle, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), stepped up as the first ever National Corporate Chair for the 2018 Kidney Walk season.

The 2017 Kidney Walk season was the first year FMCNA participated as a National Team and more than 3,700 of their employees came together to walk and raise over $280,000 for the kidney community. In 2018, FMCNA and Bill wanted to do more! We are very grateful to have Bill’s leadership and focus steering the effort for the NKF Walks this year.

Through the Kidney Walk, Bill is focused on growing and strengthening national recognition and increased financial support to fight kidney disease and increase awareness for organ donation across the kidney community.

“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the National Kidney Foundation,” said Bill Valle, Chief Executive Officer of Fresenius Medical Care North America “We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support our employees demonstrated through the 2017 Walks, but certainly not surprised. We see how our team members go above and beyond for every patient every day and look forward to helping even more people affected by kidney disease through our partnership this year.”

Bill participated in the Atlanta Kidney Walk this spring and he’ll be out walking with many of you this fall! Be sure to say hello while you are on your own walk.