Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.

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The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) will gather friends and supporters at the MGM Grand Detroit—Grand Ballroom on December 3, 2011 for the 7th Annual Kidney Ball.  The event, which features the theme “Motown Magic” every year, will include a night of live music, great food, cocktails, and an after party, all making it the most fun charity event in metro Detroit. Last year’s Kidney Ball raised over $500,000 for the NKFM’s many programs and services that help more than 900,000 Michigan residents living with chronic kidney disease.

 

The spectacular evening, which attracts more than 700 of metro Detroit’s givers and shakers, will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. and a fabulous dinner served at 7:30 p.m. There will also be an exciting live auction along with an expansive and unique silent auction.  Guests can also enjoy dancing and listening to the soulful sounds of the Jerry Ross Band after dinner.  Jim Vella, President of the Ford Fund, and Vivian Pickard, President of the GM Foundation, will serve as the Honorary Chairs of the 2011 Kidney Ball. Blanche Mack and Myra Moreland will be this year’s Event Chairs.

 

The evening wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Kidney Ball Presenting Sponsor, Meijer, as well as the many other sponsors and supporters of the event.“With so many challenges in our state things are not likely to get easier for people with kidney disease.

“Supporting the 2011 Kidney Ball can continue to help make their lives better,”
said Dan Carney, President and CEO of the NKFM. “We invite everyone to take a
step back into the Motown era and support an organization whose mission truly
is to make a difference.”

Tickets for the event are $250 per guest and can be purchased by calling the NKFM at 800-482-1455. More information about the event is available at www.kidneyball.org or you can get regular updates from the NKFM (including Kidney Ball updates) at www.facebook.com/KidneyMI.

 

The NKFM, voted “Best Managed Nonprofit” of 2003 by Crain’s
Detroit Business, and rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, is a 501(c)3
nonprofit organization established in 1955. Since its inception, the NKFM has
led the fight against kidney disease and has increased awareness of the
critical need for organ and tissue donations. The mission of the National
Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the
quality of life for those living with it. The NKFM is widely known for
providing more programs and services to more people than any other region or state.

Motown Kidney Ball
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Wolverines For Life!

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Diabetics are particularly prone to grow vision threatening cataracts. Transplant patients also have an increased risk of developing cataracts  because of the anti rejection drug Prednisone. Because Prednisone is a necessary part of our lives, here are some tips to prevent or reduce the risk of developing cataracts:

Eat foods high in antioxidants, including garlic, onions, beans, vegetables, celery, seaweed, apples, carrots, tomatoes, turnips and oranges.

Reduce or eliminate refined sugars (particularly white sugar, but also fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, maltose, dextrose, glucose and refined carbohydrates). This includes “natural” drinks that contain a lot of sugar, including fruit juices. Even milk sugar, lactose, found in all dairy products, can contribute to cataract formation, as it destroys gluthathione and Vitamin C in the lens.

Drink eight glasses of water per day. Adequate water intake helps to maintain the flow of nutrients to the lens and to release wastes and toxins from tissues.

Healthy Tips

  • Avoid microwaves. Radiation leakage from microwave ovens is a direct cause of cataracts, so avoid constant peeking into the open door window while you cook. In addition, food proteins exposed to microwaves can become toxic to the lens that is made mostly of protein.
  • Wear 100 per cent ultraviolet blocking sunglasses and a hat, since ultraviolet light from the sun can cause damage to the lens of the eye.
  • Many synthetic chemicals and pharmaceuticals can cause cataracts. Steroids, for example, taken internally or applied to the skin, are a typical cause of cataracts because they block the normal metabolism of connective tissue of which the lens is composed.
  • Cigarette smoking causes about 20 per cent of all cataracts. Men who smoke more than a pack a day increase their risk for cataracts by 205 per cent. For female smokers, the risk of getting cataracts increases 63 per cent. Quitting without supplementing the diet with additional vitamins and minerals doesn’t seem to eliminate the increased risk for almost ten years, probably due to smoking having depleted antioxidant levels in the eye.

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

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Both transplant anti rejection drugs Prednisone and Tacromulis have a long term effect of raising cholesterol levels.  Because we need both drugs to preserve our life saving organ transplants, we must find other ways to reduce cholesterol.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Eat a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Avoid saturated fats (found mostly in animal products) and trans-fatty acids (found in fast foods and commercially baked products). Instead, choose unsaturated fats (particularly omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and canola).

2. People with an active lifestyle have a 45% lower risk of developing heart disease than sedentary eople. Physically active people tend to have higher HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise can help increase HDL levels. Even moderate exercise reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Resistance (weight) training offers a complementary benefit to aerobics.

3. Quit Smoking

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

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My Sweet Life by Beverly Adler, PhD, CDE and friends

There’s a new book hot off the presses, “My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes.” Published by PESI HealthCare, “My Sweet Life” is available for pre-order now and will be widely available next month, diabetes month.

“My Sweet Life” brings together stories from more than 20 successful women who don’t live with diabetes, but thrive with diabetes. This book is inspirational for the newly diagnosed diabetic woman and for the seasoned diabetic woman needed new ideas and inspiration to continue striving toward her goals. My Sweet Life is also a perfect reference for the men who care about a woman with diabetes.

Finally, this book is perfect for medical professionals and diabetes educators to be able to share “actual” experience and data points about living with diabetes. I am honored to be joined by an illustrious group of women on this project, through the vision and expertise of Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Beverly Adler.

List of Contributors:
Brandy Barnes, MSW
Claire Blum, MS Ed, RN
Lorraine Brooks, MPH, CEAP
Sheri R. Colberg-Ochs, PhD
Carol Grafford, RD, CDE
Riva Greenberg
Connie Hanham-Cain, RN, CDE
Sally Joy
Zippora Karz
Kelli Kuehne
Kelly Kunik
Jacquie Lewis-Kemp
Joan McGinnis, RN, MSN, CDE
Jen Nash, DClinPsy,
Vanessa Nemeth, MS, MA
Alexis Pollak,
Birgitta Rice, MS, RPh, CHES
Kyrra Richards
Lisa Ritchie
Mari Ruddy, MA
Cherise Shockley
Kerri Morrone Sparling
Amy Tenderich, MA

Heartha Whitlow


 

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I was able to speak with ‘Living Single’ actress Kim Coles and others at the 2011 Fuller Woman Conference last month about the reducing the risk of diabetes among fuller women. Although the picture was blurry, I hope you can make out both Ms. Coles and the Blessed Assurance book cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By Linda Carroll
TODAY.com contributor
updated 9/29/2011 10:34:29 AM ET 2011-09-29T14:34:29

 

People try to slim down for a lot of reasons, but Kari Roberts may have one of the best — losing weight has given her a chance to save her brother’s life.

Her brother, Tony Bolda, needed a new kidney to survive. But Roberts was told she wouldn’t even be considered as a kidney donor because she weighed 320 pounds. And that made her a poor candidate for surgery of any kind, much less one that involved donating a kidney, as her extra weight was straining her kidneys already.

Roberts’s brother was the one who broke the news to her.

“I told him I wanted to be tested and he informed me that they wouldn’t even consider me until I lost some weight,” Roberts told TODAY’s Ann Curry.

That was three years and 135 pounds ago.

Read more and watch the interview at:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44716368/ns/today-today_health/

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It’s great – to be – a Michigan Wolverine! It’s great – to be – a Michigan Wolverine!

The historic night football game against Notre Dame drew 114, 803 of my best friends to this fabulous event.  Despite Michigan’s difficult first quarter of play and Notre Dame’s first score, the second quarter found Michigan making strides to stay in the game.

The Michigan Marching band’s halftime show featured dancers and flag bearers with black body stockings with blue neon lights—cool to watch, but even cooler when they got into formation with the band and created a target for military personnel to parachute from an airplane and land in the Big House. They plummeted to earth wearing cameras on their helmets and the view from high above the Big House was broadcast on the endzone Sony screens.

The fourth quarter of play was intense. In fact the last 1:23 was filled with lead changes, right up until the final: 02 seconds. Michigan pulled off the win 35-31.

My 114, 803 friends and I were so excited about the win that we couldn’t leave the stadium right away. In fact the crowd took over the cheers we wanted to sing and the band had to kind of follow and wait to start their post-game show.

Traffic was horrendous, particularly with the extra security enforcement, closed streets and available parking. With all the extra people, the bus lines were particularly long. There was a lady in line behind us looking for a mint or piece of candy. My husband whispered to me that she was having an insulin reaction.  New security regulations at the Big House now prohibit bringing in any bags including purses. So we women have to make critical decisions about what to stuff our pockets with. Will it be lipstick, keys, ID and cash? Or will it be glucose tablets, keys, ID and cash?

Fortunately as we asked around for something with sugar in it, we found a woman with chocolate covered nuts—not the first choice to cure an insulin reaction (because it is not simple sugar that can be broken down by the body easily), but sugar nonetheless.

Insulin reactions make you feel weak and as I placed my hand on her back to encourage her to get in front of us and perhaps ask people to let her cut the line so that she could sit down on the bus sooner and get back to her purse quicker, I realized that her blood sugar was likely much lower than a simple reaction. The night air was cool, yet her t-shirt was soaked and wet from perspiration. She refused to cut the line and insisted upon waiting for her turn.

Her decision to come unprepared to a game that was delayed with excitement was a dangerous game of Russian Roulette for her.

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Join walkers from all over the state of Michigan to support the National Kidney Foundation in its quest to advocate for patients in all stages of chronic kidney disease.

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The Affordable Care Act, signed and passed in March of last year, holds many benefits for those both pre- and post-transplant. While you may already be familiar with some of the Act’s immediate benefits, it’s in your interest to understand how long-term initiatives may improve your healthcare coverage in the future.

General benefits to look for

If you have been denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition—such as a history of transplant or kidney disease—the Act is creating ways to help1,2:

It removes lifetime coverage limits and sets more reasonable annual limits

As of September 2010, it eliminated pre-existing conditions as a reason for denying coverage to, or setting high premiums on, individuals up to 19 years of age

Effective 2014, it will eliminate pre-existing conditions as a reason for denying coverage to, or setting high premiums on, individuals 19 years and older

Your options until 20143

Most significantly, the Act has created the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)—which may provide you affordable, non–income-based coverage if you’ve been uninsured or denied insurance for at least 6 months due to a pre-existing condition.4

Standard PCIP benefits include primary, specialty, and preventative care; hospitalization services; and prescription drug coverage.4 Depending on where you live, these benefits may either be managed by the federal government or the state.4 Click the map for benefits, coverage rates, and enrollment details specific to your state of residence5:

If your PCIP program is run by the state, you will be offered a single plan by that state; but if it is run by the federal government, you will have the option of selecting from the following 3 plans6-8:

Be sure to read the 2011 PCIP Brochure and the PCIP Benefits Summary before discussing your options with a financial coordinator or PCIP representative.

Your access to coverage is critical to your transplant health. With the help of the Affordable Care Act, you are now many steps closer to ensuring a successful journey ahead.

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