FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.couriersun.com SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 • THE COURIER SUN 11 Springfield Gardens dialysis patient named ‘Hero of Hope’ by the American Kidney Fund BY ANGELA MATUA firstname.lastname@example.org @AngelaMatua Photo courtesy of Facebook/For Kidney’s Sake Angela L. Davis (right) of Springfi eld Gardens was named a “Hero of Hope” by the American Kidney Fund. At The Mary Louis Academy, you will own your voice— distinctive, confident, intelligent, creative, and empowered— a voice that will be one of your greatest assets in life. 176-21 WEXFORD TERRACE JAMAICA ESTATES, NY 11432 Angela L. Davis’ life was completely changed on Jan. 31, 2008, when, after passing out and being taken to the hospital, she found that her kidneys had failed. Davis, a Springfi eld Gardens resident, started dialysis the next day and stayed in the hospital for fi ve months due to complications. Her hospital stay, though challenging, allowed her to understand and empathize with people who were forced to change their normal routines to start a grueling process to clean their blood. “Dialysis is very, very challenging, challenging on the body physically, challenging emotionally, and it takes determination and fortitude to get up every day and say, ‘We’re going to do this,’” Davis said. In January 2012, Davis started For Kidney’s Sake, a nonprofi t that aims to provide education and recreational activities for chronic kidney patients to relieve the isolation they may feel in response to their disease. Davis held a “Spa Day” for more than 60 dialysis patients in March and set up a mobile spa in a school gymnasium. People were treated to hand scrubs, massages and lunch. “When you’re a dialysis patient, you lose a lot of your normal routines. If you were a person who likes to go out every weekend and drink beer, you can no longer do that,” Davis said. “A lot of times what goes along with giving up those things is giving up your friends or family that participate in those activities, so people feel isolated and depressed.” Davis said people who attended “Spa Day” and other events hosted by the nonprofi t have thanked her for getting them out of the house. Some patients had not left their house, except to attend dialysis treatment, in two years. Davis also hosted a Zumba party to encourage people to exercise and a trip to Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Her dedication to improving the lives with those with kidney disease earned her a “Hero of Hope” honor from the American Kidney Fund. The award is given to a person who gives back to their community and supports and encourages dialysis patients, according to the organization’s website. Davis will attend the American Kidney Fund’s seventh annual gala in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30th to receive the award. The American Kidney Fund is the nation’s leader in providing charitable assistance to dialysis patients and 97 cents of every dollar that the nonprofit earns goes directly to patients. The organization also provides grants to one of every five dialysis patients in the country to ease the burden of medical bills, and Davis is a recipient. “I’m very proud to be honored and I believe that this award hopefully will shed light on not only my organization but the issue of the psychological impact that kidney disease has on patients because like I said before, kidney disease is challenging and you have to have the attitude that ‘I have chronic kidney disease but chronic kidney disease does not have me,’” Davis said.
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