Skip Navigation Link


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

MKC News

Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Family Reunion

There are times when a family member may not be comfortable with sharing their health history in a group setting. In those times, having a one-on-one conversation to show your concern for their health may be more appropriate. Here are some tips for having a more personal conversation with a relative at your next family reunion:

  • Arm yourself with the facts on diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Use the Family Reunion Health Guide to help prepare for your conversation.
  • Choose the right time and environment. A quiet, private place that is free from distractions is best. Invite your family member to take a walk in the morning before the reunion activities begin.
  • Acknowledge that it is not always easy to face personal health problems. Be supportive and listen. Emphasize that the final decision to talk to health care providers is theirs.
  • Offer to help family members find more information. Start with the toll-free numbers and websites listed in the Family Reunion Health Guide.
  • Offer to go with them to their appointments with their health care provider.
visual-shade visual-shade

Be a Champion for Your Family’s Kidney Health

A photo from a family gathering

Over the years, many family reunion planners have shared stories about how the Family Reunion Health Guide pdf helped them talk to their family about the connection between diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. These planners became kidney health champions for their family and so can you!

When James and Wanda Phillips hosted the Davis-Gates-Phillips Family Reunion, they viewed the event as an opportunity to educate their loved ones about the risk factors for kidney disease. This was especially important because James was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006 as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes. During a talk with your family, follow the Phillips’ lead:

At the Nelson Family Reunion, Cheryl Nelson discussed hypertension (high blood pressure), pre-hypertension, and healthy ranges for cholesterol , glucose, A1C , and BMI . As a researcher for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, she knows the importance of being mindful of these numbers. But, you don’t have to be an expert to share Cheryl’s tips:

For more tips on how to have conversations with family about kidney disease, download the Family Reunion Health Guide pdf or see the sidebar.

We want to hear from you! Did you host or participate in a health talk at your last family reunion? Email us at, subject line "My Family Reunion Story", to tell us about it and we may feature you in a future eNewsletter!

Page last updated: August 6, 2014