Sitting with Senators


G.W. Neal speaks with Sen. Murkowski

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.


Sonya Cochran (left) prepares for her meeting.

“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.


Cathy Perkins and Jim Myers.

“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.

About nkf _advocacy

The National Kidney Foundation's advocacy movement is for all people affected by CKD, transplant candidates and recipients, living and potential donors, donor families and caregivers. We empower, educate and encourage you to get involved on issues relating to CKD, donation and transplantation.
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4 Responses to Sitting with Senators

  1. I am glad & happy the USA NKF patients had been walking out their respective sitting zones to try to alert the public generally. As the saying:- “you simply can’t overcome anything when you’re NOT aware of…” This is what we urgently need in Asia too. With my shallow experience in Asia I am preparing to be trained to share a thing or two too! Thank You!

  2. Pingback: Sitting with Senators | kidneystoriesblog

  3. Reblogged this on kidneystoriesblog and commented:
    Great day!!!

  4. patricia cassidy says:

    Thank you for your advocacy! My sister was my donor and I would do anything for her health.

    I am a diabetic so creatinine was always on my blood panel. Is creatinine on a basic metabolic panel?

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