Give a kidney, save a life: Fresno Nephrology Kidney Foundation hopes to spread the word about prevention, treatment of renal failure

The Fresno Bee | BY FARIN MONTAÑEZ, The Clovis Independent
KIdney patient Jon DeChambeau and his wife, Janet. Farin Montañez/The Clovis Independent
National Kidney Month (March) is coming to an end, but for Valley residents affected by kidney failure, awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease is something always on their minds.

Clovis resident Jon DeChambeau, 56, calls his three-times-a-week dialysis treatment “a part-time job.”

“I’m there for four hours a day, three times a week,” he explained. “They take my blood out of my body five times and then put back into me. It goes through the filter and it acts like my kidneys. It’s like a mechanical kidney that keeps me alive.”

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs in the upper abdominal cavity that extract waste from blood, balance body fluids and form urine.

DeChambeau’s kidneys stopped working in 2014 due to his decades-long battle with diabetes.

This isn’t the life DeChambeau pictured for himself.

“I thought I was bulletproof,” said DeChambeau, who was a pro golfer for 18 years. “I was an athlete, I was in good shape. That was all taken away from me because my kidney stopped working.”

At first, he was able to do at-home peritoneal dialysis through the Fresno Nephrology Group. Each night he would hook himself up to a machine that would pump 10 liters of fluid into his body through his stomach. While he slept, the blood vessels in his abdominal lining would fill in for his kidneys in the filtration process. Continue reading
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