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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Hits Home: A Family Reunion Spotlight
August 2012


In July, James and Wanda Phillips hosted the Davis-Gates-Phillips Family Reunion in Virginia Beach, Va. During the weekend, they took an opportunity to educate their loved ones about kidney disease. James was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006 as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes.

"We understood the possibilities of what could happen with high blood pressure and diabetes," James said. "Like everyone else, until you actually hear the words from your doctor that your kidneys are failing... you do not take it seriously."

Since both James and Wanda have a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes, they know how important it is to educate others—especially their family members—about kidney disease. They've sprung into action by hosting a kidney education session at their recent reunion.

"We wanted our family to take away from the presentation that they each hold their own destiny for healthy living and not to take their health for granted," Wanda said.

James and Wanda haven't taken their health for granted either. A few months after their 2010 reunion, James learned his kidney disease had progressed, and he would need dialysis. Fortunately, after testing, the Phillips learned Wanda was a match for donation. In 2011, she donated her kidney to her husband.

Talk about kidney health at your next family reunion or family gathering. Download the National Kidney Disease Education Program's Family Reunion Health Guide to learn more.


Be Physically Active with Your Family
It may seem impossible to squeeze one more task into your already busy schedule, but when it comes to being physically active, it's best to have a partner or a group that you can regularly work out with. This can help to keep you motivated. Why not make it a family affair?

There are many activities that you can do with your family, but it's all about having a plan!

We Can!, (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition), a national program from NIH designed to give parents, caregivers, and communities a way to help children stay at a healthy weight, has many tips that can help you develop a plan that works for you and your schedule. Here are three quick tips:

  1. Find available time slots. Monitor your daily activities for one week. Find at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity. Then, make two of them family activity time.
  2. Invite friends and family to get active with you. Plan social activities involving physical activity. Plan a party with games and activities that make you move.
  3. Pick activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs, or jogging.

For more tips and information to help you get started, visit:

Join us on Facebook
Don't forget to "Like" the NKDEP Make the Kidney Connection Facebook page to get tips and information about kidney health. Join the community!

Page last updated: August 10, 2012