Area Dealership Helping Make A Difference To Dialysis Patients

The Kraig Chevrolet staff recently helped to filled dialysis bags that will be distributed to patients to help make their experience just a little better. (submitted photo)

The Kraig Chevrolet staff recently helped to fill dialysis bags that will be distributed to patients to help make their experience just a little better. (submitted photo)

by Ken Allsup
June 16th, 2022

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Many people in Oskaloosa and Mahaska County are familiar with the story of Shane Blanchard and his search for a kidney.

Blanchard has had three kidney transplants, with two of them being successful long-term transplants.

The one kidney failed due to a blood-flow issue, and Blanchard then needed to have it removed; and he then went on dialysis to help save his life.

Blanchard, the General Sales Manager at Kraig Chevrolet, spoke with the ownership of the dealership and the decision was made to help those currently on dialysis.

The staff at the dealership then spent nearly an hour assembling bags of useful items, such as a water bottle that helps patients better keep track of their fluid intake while also helping them remember their medication.

The bags also contained items that will help patients pass the time while connected to the dialysis machines, where they often spend hours in treatment.

The bags will be available to patients in Ottumwa, Pella, and Newton, Iowa.

Dialysis is a treatment that helps to remove waste products and extra fluid in the patient’s bloodstream due to the kidneys no longer functioning properly.

For Blanchard, dialysis was a normal part of life after the failed kidney transplant. However, after his latest successful transplant, Blanchard has become an advocate and does peer mentoring.

The bags also contain helpful information for those who may be struggling mentally with their condition. Depression and anxiety can cause some patients to believe it may exclude them from the transplant list, and advocates like Blanchard are there to help them by being a person to whom they can confide.

“What I find is a lot of patients will not talk to social workers about things that they’re feeling at nighttime, or ways that they’re feeling after their treatments,” added Blanchard. ” When I go chair to chair, I talk to them about how are you feeling? How are things going? Has there been anything you’ve been struggling with? I know I struggled sleeping at night because I would be thinking about my treatments.”

Blanchard says there are individuals at the National Kidney Foundation they can also speak with. “There’s people they can call and talk to if they are struggling with things, because sometimes, you know, you go through ups and downs on dialysis, you have good days, bad days. And so this [information pamphlet] kind of gives them information on, you know, who they can call for, for talking to peers and stuff that are going through certain same things as them.”

When it comes to donating a kidney, Blanchard says, “it’s very, very safe. They will not let you get off the table any different than you get on the table.”

“It’s done robotically through three holes in a two-inch slit. People are typically back to work in a week or two,” says Blanchard.

Blanchard was happy his employer Kraig Chevrolet didn’t even hesitate to want to be a sponsor of the care packages for dialysis patients. “It was a good team-building exercise.”

Posted by on Jun 16 2022. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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