Gary Bodenheimer, of Elwood, NE, has received the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) Richard K. Salick Advocacy Award at the 2016 Kidney Patient Summit in Washington, DC.
The award is named after Rich Salick, a former pro surfer who underwent three kidney transplants and was a tireless advocate for kidney patients. It is the highest honor NKF bestows on advocacy volunteers.
“Gary exemplifies that same spirit of service,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation. “He’s constantly in his local community, helping others and educating them about kidney disease and I am happy he’s part of NKF’s advocacy team.”
Bodenheimer was diagnosed with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2013. Since his diagnosis he has made it his mission to raise awareness of CKD, especially among those at risk.
“When I talk to people, I say get tested, don’t wait. Chronic kidney disease has no symptoms, it’s a silent killer,” Bodenheimer said. “Get to the doctor, it won’t hurt, they can tell you if your kidneys are functioning properly.”
Bodenheimer is an active Kidney Advocacy Committee patient liaison with the National Kidney Foundation, and on any given day can be found staffing information tables at community fairs in his home state of Nebraska, speaking with the media to help inform the public about kidney disease risk factors, communicating with pharmaceutical companies about various health issues, and advocating in Washington, DC for better care for kidney patients.
“I’m not trying to cure the world,” he said. “I have a good day if I get one person to go to the doctor and get tested, that’s my good day.”
I for one in Singapore is one of NKF Singapore patient for nearly one year by 19th March 2016. I wasn’t aware or not being alerted rather by what stage I was in when I was in Singapore General Hospital with which I had been under their treatment or monitoring for nearly over 10 years due to chronic renal or kidney disease (CKD). My family & I were merely causally told that my chronic disease was under medication control.
I am now 68 an early retiree. I used to be blood donor & then bone morrow donor for an USA ABC boy when he was one & half year old. I was very healthy & I was almost 50 years old during bone morrow transplant in 1997 September 17th by specially arrangement of the first oversea 48 hours flight procedure transplant shedule. The boy now is a handsome & healthy & happily university student.
Practically my family & I were not aware of the technical medical term of CEARTININE until we were officially alarmed & pre-warning with shock in 2014 sometime around in February that my kidney is about to fail. The creatinine was officially around the range of 400 to 600 of the normal range of 63-100 for normal male. By July 2014 I had my left hand arm graft installed & by October 2014 I was admitted to hospital for gout attack or gout flare. Then for the first time I had my dialysis treatment. I recall the creatinine had shot up to 800 – 1000 units by the record shown by my family.
The history is the past event & can never be changed or reversed. But we can surely improve with the future generation ahead.
Today I truly appreciate & happy with NKF Singapore as my 2nd home. It is really a home away from home actually. I like to take part in our NKF education culture or goal to motivate & encourage more people to come forward to be aware of what is what & how is how as regard to CKD as early as possibly in our life-journey. I hope NKF Singapore will engage me seriously in training programs soonest for prevention initiative or prevention measure as a form of long term educational culture in our young & vibrant country in Southeast Asia.
Thank you for leaning/lending an ear right now & here!