U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kidney Disease Hits Home

In July 2012, James and Wanda Phillips hosted the Davis-Gates-Phillips Family Reunion in Virginia Beach, Va. During the weekend, they took an opportunity to educate their loved ones about kidney disease. James was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006 as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes.

"We understood the possibilities of what could happen with high blood pressure and diabetes," James said. "Like everyone else, until you actually hear the words from your doctor that your kidneys are failing... you do not take it seriously."

Since both James and Wanda have a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes, they know how important it is to educate others—especially their family members—about kidney disease. They've sprung into action by hosting a kidney education session at their recent reunion.

"Until you actually hear
the words from your
doctor that your kidneys
are failing...you do not
take it seriously."

A photo of James and Wanda Phillips.  

   James and Wanda Phillips

"We wanted our family to take away from the presentation that they each hold their own destiny for healthy living and not to take their health for granted," Wanda said.

James and Wanda haven't taken their health for granted either. A few months after their 2010 reunion, James learned his kidney disease had progressed, and he would need dialysis. Fortunately, after testing, the Phillips learned Wanda was a match for donation. In 2011, she donated her kidney to her husband.

Talk about kidney health at your next family reunion or family gathering. Download the National Kidney Disease Education Program's Family Reunion Health Guide (PDF, 1.48 MB) to learn more.

March 2014

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