Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 21

COURTESY U'KISHA PRINCE

ISTOCK.COM / PETERSCHREIBER.MEDIA

NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION
AMERICAN KIDNEY FUND

Above left: National Kidney Foundation board member Anthony
Tuggle and his team walk for kidney patients, their families and
people at risk in the 2019 Atlanta Kidney Walk. Above right: "A
transplant has changed my life in so many ways," says U'Kisha Prince
of Atlanta. "I'm just so much more appreciative of everything."

LaVarne Burton talks with an attendee at an American Kidney Fund
screening event in Augusta.

kidney transplant to live. Both options are extremely costly.
A kidney transplant involves placing a healthy kidney-
from either a living or deceased donor-inside the patient's body
to do the work his or her own kidneys can no longer do. To get
on the transplant waiting list, patients must undergo extensive
testing to be sure they are good candidates, and they must be
able to afford the surgery and post-transplant care, usually by
having comprehensive health insurance.
After they are put on the list, they must wait for a compatible kidney to become available from a donor. The United Network for Organ Sharing maintains a computer network that links
all organ-procurement organizations with hospitals that perform
transplants. A complex matching system is used to determine
recipients of available organs. Patients who find someone willing

to be a living kidney donor can often get a transplant
much faster than if they have to wait for a kidney
from a deceased donor.
"Kidney disease affects all aspects of your life-
not only your health but also your ability to carry on
your life in terms of employment, your family relations, everything," Burton says. "That's why we started a new campaign, Know Your Kidneys, because we
not only want people to understand the risk of this
disease, but we want people to understand what they
can do about it and to understand that taking care
of their kidneys and preventing kidney failure has a
tremendous way of improving your life."
U'Kisha Prince of Atlanta is a transplant success
story. In 2004, she was diagnosed at age 23 with
Berger's disease, which hampers the kidneys' ability
to filter waste from the blood. Prince was referred to
a nephrologist, a doctor who specializes in kidney
diseases.
"I remember he asked me questions about my
lifestyle, my future, what I wanted out of life," Prince
says. "I was working in the hospital as a phlebotomist, and I wanted to go back to school for nursing. I
was explaining to him all of those things, and he told
me that I might want to visit another career path.
"He told me I had about 10 years before my kidneys shut down. And if I didn't get a donor, I would
be completely on dialysis, or if I was lucky to have
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20-22_Kidney_Disease_0320.indd 21

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2/12/20 2:45 PM


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Georgia Magazine - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 10
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Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 45
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 46
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover4
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