ILLINOIS, March 30, 2021 – National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ (NKFI) podcast The Journey Continues most recent episode, “Taking the Lead,” is a fascinating interview with Illinois State Senator Christopher Belt. Sen. Belt, a kidney transplant recipient, shares the shocking story of how he discovered his kidney disease, and how his experience shaped the way he serves his constituents.
The Journey Continues is a podcast committed to promoting kidney health and organ donation through powerful stories. Host Monica Fox is a kidney transplant recipient and Director of Outreach and Government Relations for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. This series features the journeys of kidney patients, transplant recipients, donor families and industry experts who continue to educate the community through their own experiences and stories.
In the episode, Sen. Belt says his experience on dialysis helps him speak up for patients who otherwise may get overlooked. “I firmly believe your zip code should not dictate the quality of healthcare that you get. So I’m always fighting, always championing those causes for quality healthcare, no matter who you are or where you are but particularly for those in underserved communities and those who need it the most.”
With 3,380 Illinois residents currently waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant, Sen. Belt encourages those with two healthy kidneys to consider living donation. “It is not going to impact the quality of your life to share an organ [a kidney] that you have two of, in general… you can live quite comfortably with one.”
He concludes the episode by encouraging constituents to contact their legislators to affect real change, “the best way for legislators to know what’s going on is for people to share their stories.”
Listen to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. The Journey Continues is sponsored by Donate Life Illinois and produced by Rivet. For more information about The Journey Continues, organ donation and kidney health, please visit the NKFI website at nkfi.org or call 800-9-KIDNEY.
The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois improves the health and well-being of individuals at-risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment.