EDUCATING AND SUPPORTING BAY AREA KIDNEY PATIENTS

Very Prepared for Dialysis

Bertha Dickerson has a different story to tell. She lives in Oakland and, for many years, commuting by public transportation to San Francisco for her job as a social worker, a position she loved.  She was an only child, with her father passing away when she was a child and her mother passing several years ago.  Both had diabetes, and Bertha is diabetic as well.  In 2009, her Primary Care Physician found protein in her urine and referred her to a Nephrologist and Nutritionist.  She learned much from the Nutritionist but found that the nephrologist didn’t explain things very well.

Betha felt it was essential to understand Kidney Disease and discovered the BAAKP Oakland support group in 2014.  She left her job in around 2011 and missed it, but she felt she had to concentrate on her health. The BAAKP support group meetings filled a need to connect with others who were traveling the same roads.  At the same group meetings, she learned about Dr. Ole Diercks, a Nephrologist and a Medical Advisor for BAAKP; he is now her nephrologist.

One of the benefits of belonging to a group is learning others’ life experiences and solutions. She calls this  “group knowledge.”  In July, she started in-center hemodialysis, three days a week, 4 hours each time.  Bertha says, “It’s not as horrific as I thought it could be.”  Needless to say, over the years,  she learned much about dialysis from the many support group meetings she attended and was well prepared for the actual event!