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Queens Chronicle

A Hero of Hope for kidney patients

Angela Davis of Springfield Gardens to be honored in DC for outreach program

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Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 10:30 am

In 2008, Angela Davis of Springfield Gardens became one of millions of Americans diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

On Sept. 30, she will be honored in Washington, DC for her decision to fight back, not only for herself, but on behalf of others.

The American Kidney Fund will honor Davis as a Hero of Hope at its annual Hope Affair ceremonies for the work of For Kidney’s Sake, an organization that raises funds for and promotes social and other activities for those with kidney disease.

Davis, 46, has end-stage renal disease, meaning her kidneys have shut down, and she needs regular dialysis to live. Speaking last Saturday at a free kidney screening offered by the AKF at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, LI, she said her fellow patients inspired her to create the foundation in 2010.

“I remember going through dialysis and listening to other patients describe their loneliness and isolation,” she said.

“Many people withdraw,” Davis said. “If you have friends you would go out drinking with, well, now you can’t drink, so you might stop going out with them. You can’t smoke or drink caffeinated coffee. There are foods you can’t eat.”

She said For Kidney’s Sake helps people with some of the cost of their treatment. But this summer the group also organized a trip to Dorney Park, an amusement park in Pennsylvania.

Even more far-reaching, Davis said, has been the emergence in recent years of so-called “dialysis cruises,” on which ocean cruise lines set up dialysis facilities on board so patients can get their necessary treatment but still enjoy travel and recreation.

“Sometimes you can have 12 to 16 people who can get their dialysis right there on the ship,” she said. “Now, if you go to a foreign country, you have to pay for the dialysis yourself. But if you go to American ports — Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Alaska — your Medicaid pays for it.” And her foundation, when possible, offsets the cost of the cruise as much as possible.

Davis is on the national transplant list.

“I think I’m pretty near the top,” she said Saturday at Green Acres. “I hope I can get a transplant in six to 10 months.”

It’s the very same positive attitude that led to the creation of her foundation in the first place.

“I knew I had this disease,” Davis said. “I wasn’t going to let this disease have me.”

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