Members of our Advocacy Network are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Their passion and compassion drive them to make a difference for kidney patients. They are working nationally and locally in their communities to increase awareness of kidney disease and to advocate for policies that support kidney patients and their families.
10 years ago, Mark crashed into ESRD and he thought his life was over. However, over the proceeding years, he learned to be an advocate for himself. Now, as an AKF patient ambassador, he is able to speak up for fellow kidney warriors.
Della Major has been an ESRD patient since November 2011. Della has a deep passion for patient engagement and patient advocacy. Della is a certified Kidney Health Coach for the American Kidney Fund and serves on several organizations as a Patient Advisory Council member, a Subject Matter Expert (SME), a National Patient ambassador and patient representative.
This month we profile two AKF Ambassadors who were honored at our national gala, The Hope Affair, on Oct. 3, 2018. Ron Krokey of Woodstock, Georgia, who spent 19 years on dialysis before his kidney transplant, received our 2018 Hero of Hope Award for his ongoing work to make life better for people on dialysis. Juan Calle of Atlanta received our 2018 KidneyNation Excellence Award for raising over $38,000 to support AKF programs and services in memory of his sister Laura.
Amanda De Leon is a mother of 5, living kidney donor, YouTube vlogger, and CEO of Kidney Solutions- a nonprofit organization established in 2018. Shaped and encouraged from her own kidney donation experience, she has dedicated her time and energies advocating for both kidney patients and living kidney donation.
Ralph W. Mickle is a Mexican-American kidney transplant recipient living in Oregon. He is also working on a fundraising event for KidneyNation in Oregon later this year.
Dawn P. Edwards, CEO of New York State CKD Champions, is a 25-year dialysis patients with first-hand experience is every renal replacement modality. Dawn is a home dialysis advocate and speaks openly and honestly about her successes and challenges on her kidney journey. She hopes to educate and inspire fellow consumers to take charge of their healthcare and to play an active role as a member of their care team.
Stephanie Dixon, CFO of New York State CKD Champions, has been on dialysis for 15 years. She has served as a patient representative at her clinic and is currently as NYSCKDC's Brooklyn chairperson. Stephanie is dedicated to educating patients and their care partners in becoming active and engaged in their care and advocating for national policies which improve the lives of kidney patients.
Mitchell Broach has lived with kidney disease for 26 years. Over 2,300 dialysis treatments, over 9,600 hours in a dialysis chair, 2 transplants and I am still here. I feel so blessed, that's why I advocate. Helping others who live with the life changing struggles of kidney disease. I am honored to advocate for the American Kidney Fund. I also serve as the Vice President of the Kalamazoo Area Renal Support Group. Some of my duties in the support group includes directing meetings, peer mentoring, and organizing fund raisers. I've made it my life's mission to serve my fellow patients and I am proud to do so.
Lori Noyes has been an American Kidney Fund Ambassador for over two years. During that time, she has created a relationship with the office of her Congressman, Peter Aguilar. She has lobbied on issues that affect kidney patients and has gotten a letter to the editor about kidney legislation published. Lori lives in southern California with her sweet dogs.
As a dialysis patient himself, advocating for Ryan isn’t just personal, but is all about improving care for all kidney patients.
Audrey Adamson did not get kidney disease from hypertension or diabetes, the two leading causes. Hers came as a result of another health issue, pancreatitis.
Anthony Brown of Queens Village, New York, didn’t think much about kidney disease until he found out his mother’s kidneys were failing—shocking news, considering that she had no symptoms.
Stephanie Shabanowitz from Oakdale, Connecticut, is passionate about educating others about pediatric kidney disease and discussing important policy issues with Congressional representatives.
Lana Schmidt of Liberty, Illinois, is committed to increasing public awareness of kidney disease and helping others access the information they need for quality health care.