Walk in My Shoes

A diagnosis of kidney failure is life-altering. Learn what it’s like to live with kidney disease and why the American Kidney Fund is so committed to helping kidney patients in need and the prevention of kidney disease. Read our brief “Walk in My Shoes” profiles of kidney patients.


If you had an opportunity to walk in my shoes from day one, when I first got sick, one of the most tragic things I had to face was financial disaster. This disease affects you socially, economically, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Financially, sometimes you have to make choices, whether it’s going to be your medication, or food, or paying rent.

–Eric, Raleigh, N.C.


I was diagnosed at 15. This disease is not one that you can see on the outside, it’s inside. When we feel it, we’re tired, we’re sluggish. We don’t have a really great appetite. It’s hard going out to restaurants with friends when you really don’t feel like eating.

–Stephanie, Oakdale, Conn.


It’s very difficult. Recently my mobility has changed, and it’s been very difficult to accept. Being a dialysis patient and also very independent, it has been hard to now have to depend on others for help.

–NeShell, Houston


It’s a very hard, financially draining thing. This is one of those back-burner diseases that doesn’t get much attention, so I had to find something to pull me through.  The one thing that helped pull me through is my son. I started dialysis when he was still an infant.

-Ellery, Waldorf, Md.


Kidney disease totally changed my life . . . from lifestyle, to diet, to how you deal with life. When you’re on dialysis, it changes everything.
–Nicole, San Antonio