Where there’s a will, there’s a way: Walt’s story

Where there’s a will, there’s a way: Walt’s story

Meet Walt, who has been on dialysis at our Everett dialysis center since October 2013. Believe it or not, he has never missed a single treatment—and that’s something to be proud of!

From 1983 to 1989, while serving as a U.S. marine, Walt travelled around the world in service to his country. His service to others continues today as a member of The Road Back to Life, a mentor program that helps fellow patients cope with the effects of end stage kidney disease (ESKD). In these efforts, Walt has helped recruit new patients to serve as mentors and regularly participates in the mentor group meetings which, now offered online, support kidney patients locally and nationally.

Hoping to qualify for a transplant, Walt is working hard to lose weight. As many of you know, this can be especially challenging when you’re following the renal diet. To support this effort, he has reached out to many popular weight loss programs but has been turned down once he tells them he is a dialysis patient. So, for now, it’s his treadmill and his self-determination that keep him going. Walt believes his commitment to dialysis comes from his upbringing, being raised by his grandparents who survived the great depression. He says he learned a strong work ethic from them which was, “Do it, or don’t do it; pick ONE!” This, and other life lessons he learned as a marine, continue to drive Walt today as he navigates dialysis and the pursuit of a kidney transplant.

Walt also stays busy as the patient representative for his center’s monthly quality improvement meetings. He was recently recognized as a subject matter expert for the Patient Advisory Council and the National Patient and Family Engagement and Action Network. In his spare time Walt loves to cook, for himself and others, and he has put together a cookbook of his many favorite recipes along with a few kidney friendly diet suggestions.

“The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows,” says Walt, reciting one of his favorite quotes. “No one is going to hit you as hard as life. But it isn’t about how hard you get hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward!”

Definite words to live by! Thanks, Walt, for being an inspiration to us all and for all you do to help others with kidney disease.

Kidney-friendly recipes you must try this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a time to come together and celebrate what we are all thankful for. Although this is often a wonderful time with family and friends, it can also be difficult to navigate if you have kidney disease and are following a restricted diet. We’re here to help! Bringing a dish (or two or three!) to a Thanksgiving gathering will ensure you have something to eat that suits you, putting your mind at ease and making it much easier to enjoy spending time with the ones you love.

In light of that, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, complete with easy-to-follow recipes. Delicious and low in sodium, these are very tasty, kidney-friendly additions to your holiday menu. Bon appétit!

1. Baked Apple Chips

With just three ingredients, these Baked Apple Chips are one of the simplest, tastiest hors d’oeuvres imaginable. Such a healthy, delicious treat to nibble on while the main meal cooks.


2. Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots & Onions

Roasted veggies are an absolute must at Thanksgiving and this simple recipe for Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Onions does not disappoint. You won’t believe the flavor you get from seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt—amazing!


3. Sourdough Bread

Bread can be packed with sodium but it doesn’t have to be for flavor—this Low-Sodium Sourdough Bread proves it doesn’t need much to taste delicious! Find a friend with a sourdough starter and get this on your Thanksgiving menu.


4. Holiday Herb Stuffing

No Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing and this recipe for Holiday Herb Stuffing is definitely one to try. Plenty of herbs for seasoning and fruit and vegetables for added flavor and crunch—it’s a sure-fire hit.


5. Mustard Dill Salmon and Green Beans

The turkey is, of course, the main event but let’s not forget our pescatarians out there. Salmon is such a Pacific Northwest staple, it deserves a place on the Thanksgiving table. Try this recipe for Mustard Dill Salmon and Green Beans—an unbeatable combo.


6. Apple Cranberry Cobbler

Yes, pies are a must for Thanksgiving, but this Apple Cranberry Cobbler is such a tasty, autumn delight, it’s worth adding to your menu. Nice and light, it’s ideal for those who aren’t after a heavy pie crust.


Double check with your doctor that these recipes are OK for you, then reach out to us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to let us know what you tried!