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Patient Advocacy and Kidney Disease

Patient Advocacy and Kidney Disease

“When you're diagnosed with a chronic illness, if it's diabetes or kidney disease, whatever it is, it really, you know, adversity introduces you to yourself.”

In this episode, Lori Hartwell talks about her story of surviving and thriving with chronic kidney disease, her work founding the Renal Support Network with the goal of helping kidney patients become their own best advocates, and her work developing public policy to advocate for individuals with chronic kidney disease.


Lori Hartwell’s mission is to help people living with chronic kidney disease. Hartwell suffered kidney failure at the age of two, survived 50+ surgeries and 13 years of dialysis, and is now living with her fourth kidney transplant. Hartwell founded Renal Support Network in 1993 to instill “health, happiness, and hope” into the lives of fellow patients; she serves as President to this day and has inspired patients, family members and healthcare professionals. She has built a national network of people who she refers to as her “kidney kin” to help let them know they are not alone in this journey and help them find the tools needed to navigate this illness.

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