In 1998, Ron Krokey was as healthy as could be: a competitive triathlete who was a regular at his gym. A routine checkup with a high blood pressure reading led to a diagnosis of focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and, eventually, dialysis.

Severe peritonitis 10 years later almost killed Ron. In his debilitated state, he could no longer work and switched to hemodialysis treatment at a center, three days each week. Unable to afford his health insurance premiums, Ron turned to the American Kidney Fund for assistance. We paid Ron’s health insurance premiums, ensuring that he could receive treatment for kidney failure as well as all his other health care. 

Ron worked hard at regaining his strength and staying healthy. He joined AKF’s Advocacy Network and traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with policy makers about issues affecting kidney patients. And he joined KIDNEYNATION, AKF’s community of fundraisers who are raising money to help kidney patients and spread awareness of kidney disease. Ron created t-shirts that proclaim “I am a dialysis warrior” and sold them online, donating the proceeds to AKF. On his birthday, he asked friends and family to make donations to AKF instead of buying him gifts.

In October 2015, Ron received the very best gift possible: a kidney that was a match for him. The health insurance that he had as a result of grants from AKF made this transplant possible. His transplant was a success, and today he is continuing in his advocacy efforts and spreading awareness of kidney disease. “I am an advocate because I have been blessed with another opportunity to help people,” Ron says.

AKF fights for people like Ron, but we can’t do it without help from supporters like you. Help AKF fight kidney disease. Donate now!

See all stories >>