CHAIR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE, AAKP FIELD AMBASSADOR
My name is James Myers. I live in Hammond, Indiana. I graduated from Valparaiso University Law School and I have 2 MBA’s in Business and Healthcare Administration. Polycystic Kidney Disease runs in my family. I’ve lost 5 members of my family to PKD, Including my Father. I have PKD. I was fortunate. Because of my family’s history, I was diagnosed at the age of 25, and was able to put off dialysis until the age of 58. I was on dialysis for 4 years and was transplanted on April 27th, 2016. I named my new kidney Woody. Woodrow is a family name, so I did this to honor my father and my grandfather.
I am a full-time kidney advocate. I am a member of the AAKP. I hold leadership positions with the AAKP as a Member of the Board of Directors, an Ambassador for the State of Indiana. I have won several professional awards and honors including the Inaugural National Social Media Education and Advocacy Award from the AAKP and Robert Felter Memorial Award. I have been fortunate to give multiple seminars for the AAKP on Social Media and Kidney Disease and have been a Breakout Session Leader concerning the use of Social Media to advocate/raise awareness for kidney disease as well as a presentation about Facebook and it’s use to advocate for my fellow kidney patients. I helped to initiate the Pediatric Kidney Patients initiative (Kidney Pals), and I am part of the initiative for Kidneys and Veterans. I am the Chairman, Strategic Communications Committee, and a Member, 2019 National Patient Meeting Committee (Awarded).
I am an Advocate for the National Kidney Foundation. In 2019, I was named the Advocate of the Year. For the NKF, I am a Statewide Advocate for the State of Indiana, Member of the Kidney Advocacy Committee, Leader of the KAC Social Media Group and a Regional Leader of Region #5(MI, OH, IN, KY, TN). I was influential in bringing about the NKF’s Pediatric Kidney Patient Initiative. I am an Ambassador for the AAKP, the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, the Dialysis Patient Citizens, the Renal Support Network, the National Kidney Foundation of Indiana, More Than Just Your Kidneys and Waitlist Zero.
I am a frequent speaker at the NKFI Kidney Walks in Merrillville, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana. I am a frequent traveler and speaker for kidney patients, including stops in 2018 at Boston, Kansas City, Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg, San Francisco and Kidney Week in San Diego.
My specialty as an Advocate is my ability to utilize social media to help my fellow kidney patients and to raise awareness of the plights of the kidney patient. I am an administrator for 100 Kidney Groups on Facebook of various topics, 10 blog pages and 9 e-newspapers. I am a very experienced advocate both at home and on the hill with my Members of Congress.
My advocate nickname is Uncle Jim. If you have a kidney question or issue you need help with, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I thank the AAKP for all the opportunities they have given to me.