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Devin wants to grow up to be a math teacher and a dancer, but right now he is just an energetic first grader who loves to flip on the monkey bars. Devin has stage three kidney disease and spends large periods of time in the hospital. Devin is a straight “A” student and he loves school, especially math. “Devin goes around and says, ‘Mama do you know what 14 plus 14 is?…28.’ I just look at him and smile. Sometimes at night I just hold on to him so tightly…I just love him so much. I just pray and wish the pain was mine so I could take it away,” reveals his mother Erica.
Devin celebrated Halloween at USA Medical Center as an “Incredible” super hero. “I like the Incredibles, my favorite super power is the one that is fast. I want to be so fast that nothing can catch me and I can just beat everything.” “When Devin has a hospital stay, I will lose my job because of missed work. In October, I was about to have my electricity turned off. I had just gotten finished crying and praying when I spoke with the Alabama Kidney Foundation. They called the power company and helped me pay that bill right then. I thanked God and prayed, ‘Wow, God, you work fast.’”
Thomas graduated Suma Cum Laude from Syracuse University and spent his career as a senior legal assistant on New York’s Wall Street. When his sister died of kidney disease he was left as the sole caregiver for his Mom so he moved to his mother’s hometown of Clanton care for her. He has enjoyed living in Clanton and had begun a second career away from Law. “I was a working guy, loved my job and loved going to work” said Thomas. His plans were interrupted when he recently suffered two heart attacks, which has contributed to his kidney failure and caused him to begin dialysis just 5 months ago. Because of dialysis he is unable to work and therefore unable to pay bills and transportation costs to treatment. “It’s a big adjustment, I miss working. It’s not easy having a disability and not being able to work”, said Thomas. The Alabama Kidney Foundation helped pay for a water bill, medicines and his transportation to dialysis. “The AKF helped me with a lot of stuff. It took a lot of stress off me to know help was on the way’’ said Thomas. “The AKF has been very good to me, I appreciate that they helped me out a lot.”
Ivy began hemodialysis treatments approximately 5 1/2 years ago. She worked most of her life in clerical positions most recently working at Jackson Hospital as a switchboard operator until 2005, but she has not worked since starting dialysis. Due to her limited income, which consists of Social Security Disability only, she receives assistance from the AKF with transportation to and from treatment as well as assistance with power and gas bills.
“If it were not for the AKF assistance programs, I don’t know if I would be here,” Ivy said. “I would have to miss treatments, as I would not be able to afford transportation to them. I ride the bus and the fares have doubled over the past year and our income has not.”
“I would probably have had my gas and or power cut off if it weren’t for their help. I am so very grateful for the assistance that they have provided and continue to provide patients on dialysis. There are not enough words to express my thankfulness.”
Twenty-five is an age embraced with the promise of a future in progress. Twenty-five is the age most people wish to relive the path once taken. Ashley Hines is 25 and a dialysis patient. Shortly after graduating high school with honors, and dreams of a bright future forming in her head, Ashley and her friends visited a fast food restaurant which permanently changed the direction of her life. She was hit with the e coli virus, and it took the function of her kidneys and her youth. “I hate being hooked up to the machines, but I love being able to talk with everyone. I like the people that work here and I have made friends here. It is my social life.”
“My family is wonderful support, and my mom is my best friend. The Alabama Kidney Foundation has helped fill in the gaps when my mom didn’t get enough hours at her grocery store job to pay bills.” “The AKF has helped with our utility bill, and also helped with the cost of transportation so I could go to UAB for transplant testing”. Ashley has a match – her sister. As soon as Ashley’s health is stable, she will head to Birmingham for a transplant.
Connie grew up in New Jersey and moved to Headland, AL in 1998. She loved living in the South with the nice warm weather. On August 17, 2006 Connie was taken to the emergency room after having a seizure. It was then that she learned she had high blood pressure which caused the seizure and her subsequent kidney disease. Shortly after, she began dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hours at a time.
Because of her illness and her dialysis schedule, Connie was unable to continue working. The Alabama Kidney Foundation has helped Connie pay for some utilities as well as recently helped pay with much needed dental work. Connie is very grateful for the Foundation’s assistance. Today, Connie only has to undergo dialysis 2 times a week for 3 hours a time and is looking forward to her upcoming kidney transplant, which will be donated by her sister.
The Alabama Kidney Foundation serves Kidney patients by providing financial assistance, education, and support services. The Foundation provides public education to promote organ donation awareness and prevention of kidney disease.
To improve prevention awareness and the individual quality of life of Alabamians affected by kidney disease.