Florida Transplant Patient Speaks to Congress about Medicare Policy

June 25, 2012

For kidney transplant patient Karen Simmons, the journey to transplantation is all about raising awareness and hope for others. In 1997, Karen was diagnosed with lupus, which has severely damaged her kidneys. She’s been enduring dialysis treatments for the past thirteen years, and doctors say a kidney transplant is vital.

Karen always encourages patients to become their own number one advocate and to get involved with their care. She helps other patients by being active in the Kidney Association of South Florida (KASF), and she also served as vice president of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) Miami Chapter (2002-2004). Also, she recently established a support group in her clinic for dialysis patients.

She is dedicated to educating others and offering hope to patients facing similar health challenges. To do just that, she recently served as a voice for kidney patients by speaking in front of the U.S. Congress about the current Medicare policy ending coverage for anti-rejection medications 36-months post-transplant.

This policy affects so many patients in America right now—maybe even you. Karen, along with other patients, had the opportunity to share how kidney disease has personally affected her. The group discussed the necessity of anti-rejection medications and confirmed the importance of advocacy, research and funding for this issue.

We are so proud of Karen and thankful for the work she is doing to raise hope in the lives of transplant patients!