If these kidneys could speak they would scream Chronic Kidney Disease will never define me this bloodstream flow thick like the red sea in my palms I hold life line like blood lines that connect this pain to my past they say that heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD butterflies in my insides my heartbeat pounds like wings against wind when I laugh when I speak my voice how can something so beautiful, have a disease that can lead to death chronic kidney disease begins to become a rhythmic acronym counting kilograms of doses constantly killing daylight cold Karma doused in ethnic bodily fluid they say African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and Seniors are at increased risk.
So what do we tell our loved ones who've only existed a short period of time in our lives can organic produce and prayer keep Auntie faith off dialysis can it keep Uncle strong from being vulnerable to the heavens Wipe us clean from pain and hurt it is known that The kidneys' main function is to purify the blood by removing waste in the body and excreting them in the urine but it seems that the waste has always been on the outside because we've been wasting our time counting lives dropping into the sky one at a time with the help of alcohol and Advil Tylenol and pesticides a wise man once said that The kidneys were anciently thought to control disposition and temperament.
But how can our mothers and fathers control their tempers when the hospitals and prisons have a vacancy far beyond academic institutions it seems that our kidneys, are all we will have left at the end of this battle at the end of this war just memories
This poem is dedicated to those who hold their kidneys in one palm and their hope in the other and believe that one day with endurance in our eyes, determination on our tongue and with God in our hearts we will defeat this chronic disease and save our kidneys.
Written by Noel Scales
SAVE THE KIDNEYS POEM
In Loving Memory of Mrs.Vera Letha Williams Adkins
2013 Unsung Hero Award
Sunrise: December 28, 1956 - Sunset: April 1, 2013
Vera Williams Adkins a mother of one daughter and dedicated grandmother to two grandsons. She was no stranger to hard work and responsibility and most importantly loved her family.
Vera lived with diabetes for over 30 years. This disease took a toll on her, but not her spirit. Though she was been blind in one eye for over 15 years, from the effects of diabetes, Vera continued to work at Youth Services as a life skills coordinator for teenage mothers. When Vera was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2011, she attended treatment and continued to work her full time overnight position at the group home. After six months of treatment, with the help of the doctors and her family, Vera came to realize that she needed to take time to focus on her health. Vera was a single mother who worked two full time jobs and never depended on a soul, but realizing that God is able, she was obedient and ended her employment in order to put her health first. Vera did not know that all of those years of being a caregiver to hundreds of young women and men at Youth Service Inc., were preparing her for her new ministry in life: an exalter of spirits and being a blessing to others. On her first day of treatment, Ms. Williams, declared, “Bless the Lord for we are still in the land of the living! We are just here to get our tune up!” Most of Vera’s fellow dialysis patients are on fixed incomes, just like her. Yet, during the holidays she requested Christmas lists from the parents at her dialysis center. She purchased dolls and games for their children and gave them to parents to add under their Christmas trees. Vera cooked and brought plates for others at her dialysis unit. She held firm to her faith that ‘God shall supply’ all her needs and believed that a little goes a long way.
On behalf of the Marion Luckers Kidney Foundation we send our prayers of comfort and strength to the family of Vera Williams Adkins.
In Loving Memory of Terence Williams
2012 Fighter Award
Sunrise: April 3, 1971 - Sunset: June 26, 2013
They say that actions speak louder than words. This is one man that I know in which his actions and words break that barrier and extend much further with the effect that he has on people. Terence attended Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Delaware Valley High School. After graduating he joined the United States Army and later switched to the United States Marine Corp where he served many tours of duty in places such as the Mid- East and Okinawa, Japan. While serving a tour of duty, Terence was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and hence where his fight began.
Not allowing the disease to get him down, Terence retired from the Marine Corps and set his goals on becoming an entrepreneur and mentor. He completed a few steps of his journey by earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and volunteered to coach the pee-wee football team for his neighborhood youth organization the Northwest Raiders Athletic Association in which as a child he used to play for. He also joined the brotherhood of Masons and Shriners. Soon after that he was stricken with a condition that left him paralyzed from his waist down and was told he would never walk again. There were many stories that were told about how he used to wheel around the field in his wheelchair countless days and nights of the week still offering many life lessons and needed skills to keep those kids off the streets and find other positive avenues for themselves.
With the diabetes still taking its punches, Terence developed other conditions and complications associated with it such as retinopathy which affected his eye sight and a few neurological issues which at sometimes required long hospital stays and occasionally threatened his life. Even with these obstacles, he still found the strength to continue coaching and trying to uphold his Masonic duties.
Terence suffered from kidney failure and received dialysis for three years. A wonderful father, mentor and friend and shown himself to be time and time again, through his words, actions and tireless efforts.