Transplant recipient G.W. Neal of Alaska met Sen. Lisa Murkowski as she running out the door, but G.W. had just enough time to pull her aside to speak about the Living Donor Protection Act.
“I received a kidney from a living donor, and I wouldn’t be here without it,” he said.
“I understand what you’re saying, that we need to take care of the donors too,” Sen. Murkowski said.
Sonya Cochran, of Oklahoma, spoke with Jennifer Bowman, a legislative assistant for Sen. James Inhofe.
“I had no clue I had kidney disease, I didn’t know what was happening,” Sonya said. “The doctor only mentioned my high blood pressure, I didn’t know it could lead to kidney disease. If it was detected early, I could have postponed dialysis. ”
Sonya was surprised to learn that Bowman had a great aunt who also had kidney failure. She told Sonya she would followup regarding initiatives to address chronic kidney disease and early detection.
Cathy Perkins and Jim Meyers met with Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. Cathy and Jim have polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and spoke about the importance of early detection. In both of their cases, the ability to detect kidney disease early allowed them to properly manage their condition.
“I’m a fifth-generation PKD patient,” said Jim. “I’ve lost six people in my family, including my father. I was diagnosed in my 20s, and because of that I put off dialysis until I was 58.”
“We’re trying to get doctors to detect kidney disease sooner. We want to work with the government to create a payment system that incentivizes early detection among primary care professionals,” Cathy said.
They also spoke to Sen. Heller about the Living Donor Protection Act, and he promised he would speak with co-sponsor of the bill, Mark Kirk (R-IL), about the topic.