Audrey Hepburn: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

What an incredible weekend!  My youngest daughter, Abby Wegerski,(who I also have to thank for the title of today’s blog) and I attended a LandmarkEducation course called ‘Communication: The Access to Power.’  As  I’ve already written, my LandmarkEducation 275139_10010972_965497595_q( project for the Self Expression and Leadership Program I’m enrolled in there is to develop self-sustained, free Chronic Kidney Disease information programs on the Native American  reservations out here in Arizona by the end of August.  Of course, I had no idea who was going to do the education when I got this bright idea.

As of this weekend’s course, the project is now to develop self-sustained, free Chronic Kidney Disease information programs globally within the next two years. And again, I had no idea who was going to be doing the educating.

But I do now.  In pursuing the local project, I’ve been calling individual nephrologists to see if they could donate time to educate.  They are extremely busy people. You can get that when you realize 1 out of every 9 people in the United States has Chronic Kidney Disease.  To date, only one – Dr. Jamal Atalia who happens to be another LandmarkEducation graduate – has offered to do so, even though it would have to be on a limited basis given the amount of time he has to devote to the people he’s already treating.

I decided to attend the fairly new Kidney Smart Classes offered by DaVita to see if that would lead to some referral for CKD educators for my project.  Yes, Davita IS a dialysis provider, but also invested in the humanity of staving off dialysis as long as possible.  On their homepage at  you can find education about both early and late stage CKD, and dialysis, as well as information on just what CKD is and help in locating a doctor.

This is how I described this company in What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early   Stage Chronic Kidney Disease:

“I’d been told about at my doctor’s office. This was a website from a private company that provided both the much dreaded dialysis and the much needed kidney education. Maybe that wouldn’t be so foreboding for me. I went to the website and clicked on every possible   thing I could click on. This was a little better, but it was a dot com – a for profit site. Maybe it was one that offered all this information so that when you needed dialysis, you would turn to them since they had been so helpful all along. And what, if anything, was wrong with that?”Book Cover

I have changed my opinion of DaVita drastically as of this afternoon.  Remember my reason for attending their new Kidney Smart Classes was to find an instructor or two who might be willing to volunteer his time to my project.  I started getting uncomfortable that there really wasn’t any integrity in attending the classes under false pretenses, although I was definitely going to attend.

In an effort to restore my integrity, I emailed the person I thought was going to be the instructor, Melanie Follett, the Kidney Smart Care Coordinator of DaVita Westside Division (The Phoenix Valley is usually divided into the east and west valley.) to see if she would be willing to teach some classes on the reservation.  I knew it was a long shot.

It turned out that she was the wrong person to approach although she was thrilled enough with my project to immediately email back saying she had forwarded my email to the right person – Annette Folmer who is the Certified Kidney Smart Educator-Care Coordinator of DaVita Westside Division.

Annette called me in record time.  What came out of this conversation is that she had the Chronic Kidney Disease educators available and ready to work.  When I told her about expanding the project so that it was global within the next two weeks, she offered to provide the educators nationally.  In addition, she requested that I contact DaVita’s Media (read press releases) person in regard to publicizing the project.

So Friday, I had no clue as to how to provide Chronic Kidney Disease educators for this project other than calling nephrologists (doctors who specialize in the kidneys and high blood pressure) one by one.  Today, Monday evening, there is an entire organization of Chronic Kidney Disease educators available and eager to disseminate this information for free on the reservations and in the rest of the nation.  All I can say is WOW!


I see the other aspect of the short term project is gaining access to the reservations.  Somehow, I’m just not worried about that after this amazing opportunity with the educators.  I intend to contact the Tribal Councils and am so very open to any suggestions you may have.  I urge you to email them to me at:

But wait!  That’s not all.  Locally, people have been searching for live support groups and coming up empty.  You know you can find the online support groups in the blog role, but sometimes people want the live interaction.

It’s here, now, thanks to DaVita’s new Kidney Friends and Family Social Support Group.  This is the information from the flyer Annette just sent me:

Kidney Friends and Family Social Support Group

                                                                                                                                                                               Thursday, June 13 from 3:00pm-4:30pm

                                                                                                                                                                Arrowhead Lakes Dialysis 20325 N. 51st avenue # 184

                                                                                                                                                                                           Glendale, Arizona  85308

                                                                                                                                                                          June’s Education Topic: Medication Assistance

This group is open to kidney patients, along with their families, friends, and care partners at no cost. This is a positive, friendly, educational gathering that meets monthly.


For more information please contact: Annette Folmer 480-208-1170

I am overwhelmed with gratitude at how quickly this project is falling into place.  I clearly remember how frightened I was when I was first diagnosed and thought it meant I was either immediately going to be tethered to a dialysis machine for the rest of my life or die immediately. That fear is simply no longer necessary in this world.  There are people determined to make certain no one feels that way… and I’m one of them.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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