Houstonian with Kidney Disease Finds Motivation, Purpose in Working
‘It's not going away – but you can live with dialysis and live successfully’
HOUSTON -- November 18, 2013
No one needed to tell Houston’s Robert Gandy that he would reap health and
wellness benefits from continuing to work after he started dialysis four years
For more than 42 years, Robert has worked in the restaurant business. The
thought of leaving the job he loves never crossed his mind when he started
treatment for kidney failure – he would find a way to make dialysis fit with
his work and his life.
"[Going to my job] takes me away from the fact that I have end stage renal
disease, because I’m absorbed in my work," says Robert, an executive chef,
proud grandfather and DaVita^® dialysis patient.
As Robert discovered – and studies have proven – when patients continue
working after they go on dialysis, it can help them feel healthier, happier
and more financially secure. For instance, people on dialysis who keep their
jobs generally experience a lower rate of depression, have fewer
hospitalizations and score higher on general health and vitality tests.
Similar to how many people get kidney disease, Robert’s condition was brought
on by uncontrolled high blood pressure. He tried managing his hypertension but
it soon led to kidney failure. Luckily, his health care team helped educate
him about his treatment options so he could find one that kept him employed.
In 2009, he began in-center nocturnal hemodialysis, which turned out to be a
great fit for his lifestyle. After his evening shift at his job, he goes to
his dialysis center and receives treatment overnight, three times per week.
Once he’s finished and well-rested, he goes home and continues on with his
"Even though my doctor classified me as having end stage renal disease, it’s
not end stage," says Robert. "It's just another stage in your life, and you
can balance it and move on with your life. It's not going away but you can
live with dialysis and live successfully."
When he thinks about other people on dialysis who grapple with whether or not
they should keep their job, he says communication is a key component to making
"Talk to your work to make sure dialysis fits in, so you put the least amount
of stress upon yourself as possible," he says. "But get the information and
process it and talk to your family."
With support from his co-workers, family and DaVita kidney care team, Robert
has found a way to turn his kidney disease into something encouraging.
"Every morning I tell everybody, 'There are no more bad days – there are only
good days.' Some are better than others but …when that foot hits the ground in
the morning, baby, it’s a good day!"
“Dialysis is quite simply a way of life for our patients, but we’re committed
to helping them fit treatments into their lives rather than having to plan
their lives around treatments,” said Chakilla Robinson-White, DaVita’s vice
president of operations for the Houston Metro area. “Dialysis shouldn’t
prevent patients from staying on the job or taking vacations, and at DaVita
we’re dedicated to providing patients with the flexibility to live fuller,
For more information about living with kidney disease, visit
DaVita.com/WorkingPatients or call 1-888-405-8915. DaVita also offers kidney
disease classes that are open to the community in the Houston area.
DaVita is the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune
500® company that, through its operating divisions, provides a variety of
health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and
abroad. A leading provider of kidney care in the United States, DaVita
delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end
stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients’ quality of life by
innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans,
personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of Sept.
30, 2013, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 2,042
outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately
166,000 patients. The company also operated 66 outpatient dialysis centers
located in ten countries outside the United States. DaVita supports numerous
programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities
around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social
responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare,
Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com.
Vince Hancock, 303-876-6618
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