"When my health would have been affected by not having the care, the American Kidney Fund allowed me to be able to concentrate without the stress, without the worry, on my best health, being my best me."
Fighting for patient rights and dignity
Della Major was a thriving 42-year-old educator with no symptoms of kidney disease. Her kidney disease journey started abruptly: After fainting while teaching a class, she ended up in the ER with a diagnosis of lupus that caused her kidneys to fail.
The new normal of dialysis took a toll on Della and her family physically, emotionally and financially, and she almost gave up.
“I’ve always been a fighter. I’m the type of person that believes that no is not an option, but at the same time, sometimes fighters get wounds,” Della said.
Inspired by a fellow dialysis patient, she started researching kidney disease and looking into how she could improve her outcomes. She continued dialysis and working until 2016 when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. At her doctor’s recommendation, she quit her job.
Although Della was doing the best thing for her health, she could no longer afford to pay her health insurance without a source of income. AKF stepped in by covering the full cost of her insurance premium.
“When my health would have been affected by not having the care, the American Kidney Fund allowed me to be able to concentrate without the stress, without the worry, on my best health, being my best me,” Della said.
Della is now an AKF Ambassador and has advocated on behalf of patients with kidney disease on Capitol Hill. Her outlook on life has changed for the better, and she is committed to helping others through her passion for education.