Listen below to interview with Gary Bodenheimer of Elwood.
In 2013, an Elwood man said he went to his doctor because he wasn’t feeling well. Gary Bodenheimer said his doctor ran some lab tests and then returned to the patient room. He told him “‘Gary, I’m sorry but, we have an issue here that we need to address’ and that’s when he told me that I had Kidney disease.” Bodenheimer says the news was a shock to him. He says he hadn’t been feeling well but, otherwise he hadn’t had any symptoms for Kidney problems. The doctor’s diagnosis was later confirmed by a Nephrologist, a specialist in kidney disease. He is in Stage IV of Chronic Kidney Dis ease, meaning he’s one step away from requiring dialysis treatments.
Bodenheimer continues to live with the condition but, also seeks to help others while serving on the Kidney Advocacy Committee of the National Kidney Foundation. He encourages people to get tested for it on their routine doctor visits as the early stages of Kidney disease has no symptoms, meaning you may not know there is anything wrong. Like many other conditions Bodenheimer says routine testing can detect the early stages of the disease and allow for more treatment options.
He says one in three people are at a risk to get Kidney disease, while one out of nine people have Kidney disease but, “they don’t know it because they haven’t been tested.”
As the Lead Advocate for Region 7 of the Kidney Advocacy Committee, Bodenheimer says he’s available to speak to groups about Kidney disease and also to assist individuals with information about detection and preventing it’s onset. Region 7 encompasses Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma , Texas and Arkansas. He adds that he’ll answer any question he can but, “if I don’t know the answer, I know where to get the answer.”
A proclamation ceremony will be held in the State Capitol Building in Lincoln on Wednesday June 7, 2017. Lt. Gov. Mike Foley will be signing a proclamation making June 7th as Living Kidney Donor Day. The ceremony starts at 10:00 am in the Warner Chamber on the second floor. Bodenheimer says anyone who has experienced the Gift of Life through Kidney donation is welcome to attend the ceremony. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-325-4642.
Another special event will take place on Tuesday June 13, 2017 in the Phelps Memorial Health Center from noon to 1:00pm. A community education program will take place on “Kidney Failure and Kidney Replacement Therapy”. It will be presented by Dr. Imtiaz Islam, a board certified Nephrologist.