Patrick Gee (Richmond, VA) experienced kidney failure in April 2013 before beginning dialysis in December of that year. He continued on dialysis for four years, until he received a transplant from a deceased donor in April of 2017. Unfortunately, there were issues with the kidney post-surgery and he underwent additional surgeries until his kidney finally “woke up.” Patrick will celebrate the second anniversary of his kidney transplant in 2019.
Patrick has become an advocate for kidney disease because he recognizes that his lifestyle played a huge role in his kidney failure. Diabetes and hypertension (the two leading causes of kidney disease) played a role – he was going to school full-time, working two jobs, caring for his family, and not eating healthy. His average A1c was 11.0-11.7 and his blood pressure was 209/190. Patrick wants to share his story so that other people understand causes of kidney disease and the importance of monitoring your health so they do not have to go through the same things that he did.
As an AAKP Ambassador and Board Member, Patrick has attended an AAKP National Patient Meeting in the past – here he learned, heard many stories from fellow patients and family members affected by this condition and was honored as a co-recipient of the AAKP National Patient Engagement and Advocacy Award! His favorite memory from the Patient Meeting was just being in a room full of people who shared similar experiences as he, regardless of their background. He found a sense of comfort in knowing that he didn’t have to explain himself to everyone, because they knew exactly what he was going through.
Patrick offers a bit of advice to fellow patients: “Understand that you are not defined by the disease that you are battling. In your moment of weakness, doubt, hurt and pain, know that you possess something inside of you that will allow you to persevere and overcome all that you are dealing with. Become the greatest advocate for change by being the inspiration that your peers need. To see that, will empower and motivate them to fight against kidney disease.”
Patrick is very excited to serve on the 2019 AAKP National Patient Meeting Planning Committee. He feels that this is his way of paying it forward, since AAKP has helped him tremendously throughout the years. Also, it’s the 50th Anniversary, so he’s honored to be a part of AAKP’s rich history! AAKP’s 44th National Patient Meeting: Driving Innovation & Changing the Status Quo will be held September 6 – 8, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Join us at this year’s National Patient Meeting! Click here to learn more and register now for Early-Bird savings! https://aakp.org/national-patient-meeting/