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March is Kidney Awareness Month - See Michael's Story

March is Kidney Awareness Month. 

At United Way of Portage County, we provide funding to our community partner the Kidney Foundation of Ohio.  This allows us to address the challenges and concerns faced by those battling with kidney disease.  We are fighting to improve the health and quality of life for those with kidney issues in March and throughout the year.

Here is Michael's* story of how he received help from the Kidney Foundation of Ohio and how United Way of Portage County was able to help him win this particular fight:

Michael Williams* is a 69 year-old dialysis patient who started treatment in August of 2017.  He lived alone but had a friend who cooked for him.  The friend was very good about preparing renal friendly meals and making sure that Michael had enough to eat. Unfortunately, the friend passed away unexpectedly at Christmas. He reported not having adequate food in the home. Then, Michael began to steadily lose weight, eventually losing 37 pounds. The dietitian from the dialysis unit tried to arrange for him to receive home delivered meals, but Michael was unable to afford $3.50 for each meal.  His social worker also found out he did not have a working furnace.  Michael was living in a dangerous situation.  His social worker was able to refer him to the Medication Assistance program.  Mr. Williams was approved and began to receive nutritional supplements; his weight stabilized.  The social worker also made referrals to Passport and Adult Protective Services to provide further assistance for the patient. Michael is “very grateful for the support provided to him during this very difficult time”. 

*Patient’s name has been changed