Health Plus: Kidney disease - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Kidney disease

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Chronic kidney disease is limiting the lives of thousands of Americans.

But thanks to dialysis centers, getting the treatment some patients need is more efficient and closer to home.

In Health Plus, an eastern Iowa woman who's become an ambassador for dialysis patients nationwide.

Kendra Deike has been on dialysis for nearly 30 years, since she was three.

"My parents would always take me until I was old enough to drive, then I would go myself."

The Plainfield woman was born with no filters in her kidneys and three failed transplants later, she comes to Waverly DaVita Dialysis three days a week, two-and-a-hours at a time to stay alive.

"Be happy with the little things because there's always somebody that's gonna be worse off. I've seen many friends that are gone now that I grew up with on the machine because it becomes a family."

Certified dialysis nurse Sally Kalvig manages the facility.

She says chronic kidney disease is usually not fatal, it's the complications.

"Diabetes, hypertension, but usually not kidney failure."

Since she started working with dialysis patients years ago, Sally has seen the process become more efficient.

"The older machines it was kind of guess work at times on how much fluid we want to remove. Also with the new dialyzers their times have been cut down from maybe four-and-a-half, five hours to anywhere from two-and-a-half to four hours."

Kendra has taken her experience before Congress.

As a patient ambassador, she advocates for dialysis patients in Washington, D.C.

And her treatments here are just a small part of her life, Kendra is a licensed insurance producer who just completed her Masters at Upper Iowa University last month.

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