TRU nursing students promote better kidney health

By Chad Klassen
March 9, 2017 - 2:00pm Updated: March 9, 2017 - 6:21pm

KAMLOOPS — On World Kidney Day, Lyle Roberts is taking his kidney disease in stride, trying to remain as positive as he can, even without chance for a transplant at 72 years old. 

Roberts, diagnosed with kidney disease in 2013, has dialysis three times a week. He's been in and out of hospital for the better part of the last four years, greatly impacting his life. 

"I was very much a doer," said Roberts. "I'm in dialysis three times a week, and I lose those days. The next day I'm up and running, but it's affect me a lot."

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Roberts used to enjoy riding his motorcycle and was very active, but he's had to turn the throttle down, limited in what he can do. 

"Now I can't ride a motorcycle. I can't do a lot of things. I'm good for about six hours being busy, and I get pretty tuckered out," Roberts noted. 

But through this adversity, he has remained positive, wanting to help other people dealing with kidney disease --- and help prevent it altogether.

As are TRU nursing students who organized the 10th annual World Kidney Day in Kamloops on Thursday, bring about more awareness and offering to conduct blood pressure tests and blood glucose test --- both potential indicators of kidney disease. 

For Maureen Thompson, who's had kidney disease for 11 years, this year's event is extra special after receiving a kidney transplant in September. 

"It's a new lease on life," said Thompson, who doesn't have a restricted diet anymore. "11 years of minimum food and minimum fluids. Now all the toxins are out of me with the new kidney. You don't want toxins and excess water because you'll end up being on dialysis."

It's what Roberts will be doing the rest of his life. At 72, he doesn't qualify for a transplant, given his age and the fact he has prostate cancer. But he's choosing to keep living to the fullest. 

"I was laying in the intensive care unit in Kelowna, and I thought 'well, am I going to be bitter or am I going to fool around and have fun? Guess which one I choose."

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