More than 10 percent of adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease, a condition that results in the loss of kidney function over time. With diabetes and high blood pressure among the many causes of chronic kidney disease, education and early detection are key because symptoms often don’t show until irreversible damage is already done.

The final stage of chronic kidney disease is also known as kidney failure, for which there is no cure. Patients either need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. And when faced with these choices, patients can often find themselves at an emotional crossroads.

Finding a Partner in Care

“Thriving on dialysis means knowing your emotional needs are just as important as your physical well-being,” says Ron Rodgers, Executive Vice President, Fresenius Medical Care North America and President, Fresenius Kidney Care, a network of more than 2,200 dialysis clinics nationwide. “Our care team supports our patients every step of the way.”

This care team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, patient care technicians, social workers and care coordinators builds relationships with each patient to understand and anticipate their unique needs, helping ease the challenge of living with kidney disease.

Making a Connection

When nurse Jora Lofton learned her patient Thomas was considering ending dialysis, she was determined to help him make the decision to continue treatment and thrive. By discovering their mutual affection for University of Alabama football, she helped Thomas see a different perspective. He started looking forward to seeing his treatment family three times a week.

“We individualize care and empower people to take control of their own treatment plan,” says Rodgers. “By addressing the holistic needs of our patients, and by treating them as family, we help improve their quality of life so they can continue doing the things that matter most to them.”