March, National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month. Yeah, that doesn't sound too glamorous, but it is important to shine a spotlight on something we all take for granted.

A few years ago one of my friends died of kidney disease. I remember when he was fourteen and was diagnosed with diabetes. As kids we just thought he had to give up Cokes, cake, and candy. Tough, but doable. Little did any of us know the impact that insidious disease can have on the human body or the quality of one's life. Nor did we know how diabetes can incapacitate a body or take life away long before the body is old.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans can walk around with kidney disease and not even know it until it's almost too late. Because of this, each year when you have a physical, you should request simple blood and urine tests to make sure your kidneys are healthy. The sooner you can diagnose a problem; the sooner you can take action to correct the problem. You may possibly avert major organ failure.

There's more info online at or the National Kidney Foundation at 1-800-622-9010.

If you're healthy and you have the means, donate a gift of money to the foundation. Consider becoming an organ donor. I know that's a hot button for many people, but do consider it.

My friend needed a transplant. He was on the list, but the list is long. His body couldn't wait. Bubba Bruce. Gone before his time, but not forgotten.


  1. Over half of the 98,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.