Because kidney patients don’t have the luxury of staying home: #CoronaVirus
The Difficulties Kidney Patients Face
Each year the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho serves 3,000 dialysis and transplant recipients in those states. There are over 500,000 kidney patients in the country who, on a good year, struggle to pay their medical bills, housing or transportation to and from dialysis. WWW.TowKars.org is the primary source of that funding. When the price of gasoline soared to $4.00 a gallon in 2008, some patients literally could not afford the fuel to drive themselves to dialysis. We received good-bye letters from patients, thanking us for helping them through kidney failure–but they were giving up on dialysis. Think about that. They were choosing to die quietly, because of the cost of gas.
Today, we have a different challenge: sheltering in place because of the Coronavirus. But self-quarantine and shelter in place isn’t an option for kidney patients. Staying at home to limit pathogens while in groups, churches, at the grocery story, or gas station seems like a great idea when you have food in the fridge and don’t need to go to a clinic several times a week to stay alive. Hospital/clinic environments are especially dangerous to the immune-suppressed (which is every kidney patient in America). But kidney patients can’t NOT go to dialysis, even when the healthcare system is overwhelmed by a pandemic. How do patients decide? Do they risk contracting Coronavirus by going to dialysis in order to stay alive, or stay at home and die of kidney failure?
Hopefully they don’t have to decide, and you can help.