Youth Transplant Kamp
Youth Transplant Kamp is a specialized camp for children ages 8-17 who have undergone heart, liver, lung, or kidney transplants. This camp helps to create a support network and a community of friendship among children who have had similar life experiences with organ transplantation and have experienced feelings of being socially isolated from their peers because of their medical challenges. The goal of the camp is to help young transplant recipients gain greater independence, confidence, and self-esteem through their participation in outdoor adventures and experiences such as horseback riding, hiking, swimming and ropes course.
Please call Ann at 801-226-5111 for more details and applications
Dialysis Transportation Program
Donations of used cars to the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho have made possible the creation of the Care-A-Van – a volunteer-based program designed to help dialysis patients get to and from life-saving treatment sessions.
“These patients don’t have a choice, dialysis is the only means of having some quality of life as well as quantity,” said Patsy Hough-DeCaro, a Care-A-Van representative.
Last year over 250 trips were made in providing the healthcare needed for dialysis patients. “Continued financial support from The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho is vital to our ability to continue this service,” Hough-DeCaro said, “by individuals donating their cars to The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho, the NKF helps fund our program that in a very real sense saves lives.”
“Where would the people be if the service wasn’t available?” Hough- DeCaro asked, “Some would be in nursing homes, some would die slow painful deaths, children would not have the chance to live normal lives, and others may have no more than 14 days to live.”
For additional info about donating a car or volunteering to drive, call 800-869-5277
Apsen Grove Family Kidney Kamp
Each year The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho, in conjunction with the Great Salt Lake Truck Show, sponsors the Truck Show Family Kidney Kamp. Dialysis and transplant patients and family members annually spend the first weekend of September among the pines at Aspen Grove at the base of spectacular Mount Timpanogos.
Hospitals are forgotten as campers participate in fishing, swimming, hiking, basketball, shuffle board, miniature golf, racquetball, arts and crafts and motivational learning sessions. Motivational speakers inspire attendees with real life stories of facing challenges, overcoming adversity and dealing with challenges. Saturday afternoon “Follies” offer the chance for families and new found friends to bond together in fun and challenging outdoor contests. The spirit of fun, camaraderie and family unity lifts the hearts of patients and their families. Lasting friendships are formed and lifelong memories are made. Patients and families leave the camp emotionally, physically, and spiritually renewed and better able to cope as a family with the challenge of living day-to-day with kidney disease.
To view the 2019 Family Kidney Kamp application and registration rules, please click here!
For More information on the Great Salt Lake Truck Show go to:
Educational Scholarship Program
The NKF of Utah & Idaho Educational Scholarship Program is dedicated to enhancing the independence and self-sufficiency of Utah and Idaho kidney patients. These scholarships are awarded to kidney transplant recipients and dialysis patients to assist them in the completion of their higher education. Students range from freshman to seniors, and pursue degrees at colleges in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.
The Foundation is grateful to the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation for their generous grant which helps to make these scholarships possible.
“I cannot describe the feeling of gratitude for the generosity of those whose donations have made my financial grant possible … by going to school, I am planning ahead both for my family’s well being and for my own.”
– Scholarship Recipient –
Patient Emergency Grants
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho provides help for kidney patients through its Patient Emergency Services program. Patients in need receive assistance grants to help pay for food, rent, utilities, transportation, vehicle maintenance, medical insurance, medications and doctors bills. The Foundation also supplies each Dialysis Center throughout the states of Utah & Idaho an Emergency Patient Fund to assist with emergency needs.
“It means so much to me to have a place where I can go for help when things get tough. You are truly wonderful people.” – Sandra W.
Nutritional Supplement Program
Almost 200,000 supplement portions were distributed during the past year
The Nutritional Supplement Program provides dialysis patients with nutritional supplements such as Boost Plus and Pro-Cell. As a result of this program, dietitians at Utah and Idaho dialysis centers have reported to the foundation that patients have been able to improve their laboratory results and nutritional well being. Statistical analyses of patient lab results show that the supplied supplements have a direct effect on the way patients feel, dramatically improving their energy level and quality of life.
Cynthia Ray RD, DaVita Utah Valley Dialysis, states,
“My patients have been able to improve their laboratory values and nutritional status by use of these nutritional products.”
Shirley Farr RD, Oquirrh Artificial Kidney Center, said,
“There is no program offered by the NKF of Utah and Idaho that has a more direct effect on the way patients feel. With these supplements, their labs are better as well as their energy level and quality of life.”
Since the program began, over 9,000 at risk individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease have been screened by our Kidney Evaluation Program (KEP). Blood pressures are taken and blood is tested for GFR readings to help those at high risk to see a nephrologist to prevent or delay kidney failure.
Medical Alert Jewelry
In our commitment to insure quality healthcare to patients, the Foundation has supplied over 800 pieces of Medical Alert Jewelry. These warning bracelets and necklaces are essential for patients in case of medical emergency.
The foundation is dedicated to ensuring that Utah & Idaho Kidney patients receive the latest information regarding medication, treatments, nutrition and information which may improve the quality of their daily lives. Patient conferences are tailored to fit individual patient needs and feature question and answer sessions with physicians and other healthcare professionals, patient support groups, and uplifting motivational speakers to name a few.
Check the news and events to find information on the next conference.
Patient Support Groups
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho supports patients and family members by holding informal support groups. When facing kidney failure, you don’t have to go it alone. Our support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that’s questions about dialysis, transplantation or coping with depression and the stress of kidney failure. Members of our support groups share experiences and advice. Support groups are meeting 4 times a year. Information on the next meeting can be found by contacting our office.
Our Patient Information Help Line, NKF Cares, offers support for people affected by kidney disease, organ donation or transplantation. It’s designed just for patients, family members and care partners. Speak with a trained specialist who will answer your questions and listen to your concerns. Click here to learn more.
A to Z Health Guide:
Your comprehensive guide to kidney disease and related conditions and topics. Visit the site here.
Kidney Living is the National Kidney Foundation’s FREE magazine for dialysis patients! Each issue features stories from people who are living well on dialysis, as well as tips for coping with kidney disease, healthy eating, finding support, and so much more. Learn more here.
Kidney Failure and Disability Benefits
If you or someone you love is experiencing kidney failure, you may be worried about making ends meet financially while you’re unable to work. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits to people in need. Kidney failure that is advanced will often medically qualify for disability benefits, meaning your family may be eligible for resources to help pay for your treatment and other daily living expenses.
Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits
The SSA uses its own medical guide as the Blue Book to evaluate claimants and determine whether or not they’re ill enough to receive disability benefits. Kidney failure is found in Section 6.00 of the Blue Book, which covers kidney disease.
*Note that this section of the Blue Book is immensely complicated and was written for medical professionals. This article gives just a brief and simplified summary—It’s strongly recommended that you go over the Blue Book with your doctor to determine if you’ll medically qualify.
Kidney failure could qualify for disability benefits if one of the following criteria is met:
1. You have chronic kidney disease with dialysis that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year. You’ll need at least one acceptable medical source stating your current dialysis treatment plan.
2. You’ve received a kidney transplant. This will automatically qualify for one year after the procedure. If you have not had your transplant surgery but are on the donor waitlist, you will not “automatically” medically qualify, but you will almost certainly meet another kidney disease listing.
3. (The big listing, please speak with your doctor!) Your kidney function is impaired enough to produce one of the following laboratory findings twice, at least 90 days apart:
- Serum creatinine of 4 mg/dL or greater;
- Creatinine clearance of 20 ml/min or less;
- Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 20 ml/min/1.73m2 or less.
AND one of the following
- Severe bone pain caused by renal problems, with imaging showing bone abnormalities such as fracture or osteomalacia
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Fluid overload syndrome with appropriate medical documentation
4. Anorexia with weight loss, determined by having a BMI under 18. You’ll need proof that your BMI was calculated on two occasions at least 90 days apart.
Again, the kidney failure listing is very complicated and should be reviewed by a medical professional. Because the entire Blue Book is available online, you should be able to do so at your next doctor’s appointment.
Starting Your Social Security Application
If you think you might qualify for disability benefits, you should apply for Social Security as soon as you can. The average claim takes at least three to five months to process, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll get the financial assistance your family needs.
Most claimants can complete the entire application online on the SSA’s website. You will not need to physically submit any paperwork documenting the severity of your kidney failure, but you will need to mark the hospitals where you’ve received treatment so the SSA can gather your medical history on your behalf. Once approved, you can spend your benefits on medical care, transportation, or any other daily needs.
This article was written by the Outreach Team at Disability Benefits Help. They provide information about disability benefits and the application process. To learn more, please visit their website at http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ or by contacting them at email@example.com.
Held in Salt Lake City, the 1996 the U.S. Transplant Games was the largest gathering of transplant recipients in history, hosting 1500 athletes. This unique Olympic-style competition was organized by the National Kidney Foundation and the Utah Idaho affiliate.
Now 26 years later, the 2022 U.S. Transplant Games being held in San Diego, California, with opening ceremonies scheduled for July 29, 2022.
Dental Select of Utah provides over 100 families with the “silver dental program.” This dental discount plan enables patients to receive treatment from over 125 general dentists, endodontists, oral surgeons, and periodontists throughout the state of Utah, and to receive this treatment without insurance premiums, annual benefit limits or pre-existing condition clauses. With Medicare and Medicaid offering little by way of dental benefits, dental care is often viewed as unaffordable by many patients.
Through this dental plan, more dialysis patients are able to receive dental care. Dental health and the control of oral infections are a requirement for consideration of organ transplantation.
Jocelyn Johnson, a dialysis patient states, “Because of my medical bills, I haven’t been to a dentist for four years. Dental Select will help for sure.”
Making Lives Better
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho uses a three branched approach to accomplishing its goal of “making lives better.”
Please take a moment to browse the and read about the various programs that we have in place.