School Days: An Interview

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By Jim Myers, AAKP Board of Director and Ambassador

 

In honor of school days, we are writing today about 5-year-old Henry Whitacre and his mom, Emily. Henry received a kidney transplant at Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 18th, 2018. We wanted to check in and see how Henry is doing with his first school experiences. Hopefully, we can give first time back-to-school kidney parents some helpful ideas as the school year starts.

Read the interview below.

We asked:

As a parent of a pediatric kidney kid, how are you preparing for the start of school?

Emily responded:

'We prepped for starting his first school year this summer. We talked to Henry a lot about going to school, and what it would be like. We talked A LOT about germs, and hand washing, and how important it is. We also toured several schools and talked openly with the staff to see what school might be a good fit for Henry and his needs. We started by having him evaluated in our local district to determine if he needed any special services through school (an IEP/504 plan). Henry also attended four separate therapies all summer long to help prepare him for the classroom. We talked to him about the ways that he might have some different “stuff” from kids in his class, and that it’s ok for them to ask questions."

What advice do you have for other parents who are preparing for back to school?

"The best advice I can give is to be open with the staff at the school and forge a good relationship! Provide education if they need it, and be an open book regarding your kiddos’ diagnoses. The more they know, the more they can help keep your kiddo healthy and in school! Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask about resources! Kidney kiddos can qualify for services such as speech and occupational therapy through the school via a special needs plan. We are our kid’s best advocate, so don’t be afraid to push for special plans if you feel your child needs one!"

Did you meet with Henry's teachers beforehand?

"Yes! We were able to meet his teacher before the school year started, as well as his principle and the school nurse. Henry’s home health nurse is attending with him, so we were able to make a game plan and figure out everyone’s responsibilities before that chaotic first day. It was so helpful! Plus we felt even more comfortable about him going to school. "

How has he been adjusting to school?

"Henry loves school! He is attending every day for half day. There were some tears (from both of us!) on the first day; but by the second day he was just fine and now he doesn’t even like the weekends off! He is so curious about so much and his teacher works very well with him, she is so patient! "

Check out this photo of Henry on his back to school night. He looks so happy!

Thank you Emily and Henry!

 

 

 

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TOP USA KIDNEY PATIENT MEETING LANDS ON CAPITOL HILL

Richard Knight, AAKP President and a kidney transplant recipient, stated “If you are a kidney patient or the loved one of a kidney patient anywhere; this event is a unique opportunity to listen, meet and talk to some of the top experts in America about kidney disease prevention, transplantation, and dialysis care. It’s also an opportunity to be part of history as AAKP will highlight the goals of the recently announced Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health and share how patients can and should play a role in the long-term success of this milestone initiative.”

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Richard Knight, AAKP President and a kidney transplant recipient, stated “If you are a kidney patient or the loved one of a kidney patient anywhere; this event is a unique opportunity to listen, meet and talk to some of the top experts in America about kidney disease prevention, transplantation, and dialysis care. It’s also an opportunity to be part of history as AAKP will highlight the goals of the recently announced Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health and share how patients...
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August 14 is Global Yoga Therapy Day

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By Tish Ganey, 500 RYT (registered yoga teacher) and teacher of Advanced Therapeutic Yoga

 

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga!” That is the slogan of this year’s Global Yoga Therapy Day celebrated on August 14. It highlights the fact that yoga is something you can practice anywhere, anytime. You don’t need special equipment, or yoga outfits, or have the ability to sit cross-legged on the floor. If you can breath, you CAN do yoga! It is as simple as that.

Therapeutic yoga is a complementary and alternative therapy that supports patients and caregivers in their everyday lives. The therapeutic benefits of yoga help to address several of the issues facing patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, and their caregivers. At all phases of illness and dis-ease, yoga may help with:        

  • Reducing stress
  • Improving sleep
  • Calming anxieties
  • Elevating mood
  • Providing relaxing movement

 

If you can breathe, you can work toward the complementary benefits of yoga. Breathing is one of the key components of yoga. It is through the breath that we are able to calm the body and the mind. Yoga incorporates movement along with the breath. When we synchronize slow movements with our deep inhalations and slow exhalations, we get the attention of our heart.  When we focus our mind on a breath and movement yoga practice, we begin to bring calmness to the whole body.

Yoga may support the patient and help them to do their part, as they work alongside their doctors and professional medical providers for their care. Chronic Kidney Disease often includes other issues that exacerbate the overall well-being of a CKD patient. It may be helpful for the CKD individual to learn skills to self-regulate emotion and to have a greater understanding of their own response to stress.

In celebration of yoga therapy, August 14 has been designated Global Yoga Therapy Day. This event will continue to raise awareness around the broad application of yoga for all individuals. We can learn how easy and accessible yoga can be for everyBODY. The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has provided the general public with information regarding the benefits of yoga and yoga therapy at YogaTherapy.Health.

At a time of growing popularity in yoga it is important that yoga practices be researched and documented. Early indications for all types of chronic disease is that yoga helps to address many of the underlying effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga research is particularly difficult because there are so many variables inherent in yoga. Science needs to articulate style of yoga, the practice details of duration, frequency, and intensity, and the exact descriptions of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. The consensus on yoga research is that there needs to be more of it! The take-home in almost every yoga research study is something along the lines of “Yoga has potential utility as a complementary and alternative therapy for chronic diseases and can help patients …  improve a number of health outcomes.”

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga!” And since you’re already breathing, you might as well do yoga! There is every indication that it may help you in a number of important ways.

 

Tish Ganey

Tish is a KRYT 500 Kripalu Registered Yoga Teacher, having received certification from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge Massachusetts in 2015. She has practiced yoga and meditation for over thirty years and is a lifetime student and a passionate creative. She continues learning and making the mind body connection for health, healing and well-being through yoga and meditation.

She teaches Advanced Therapeutic Yoga, and is a candidate of the certified Integrative Yoga Therapist program at Kripalu, accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Tish expects to become a certified yoga therapist in 2020. Contact Tish Ganey at tish@TampaYogaTherapy.com for more information about yoga.

 

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