My first experience with lobbying last week confirmed my expectation that meeting with legislators isn’t so different from any other type of business communication. In fact, it can be fun, especially when you’re part of a contingent swooping into the state capital on behalf of an organization you care deeply about. The only difference from other business meetings is that it’s especially crucial to be clear about your (no more than) three key messages because your time with each legislator is very limited.
For our group the meetings with representatives and senators was especially gratifying because we there on behalf of the Northwest Kidney Centers (NKC), the world pioneer in home dialysis. My current connection to NKC is that I’m a member of the Board of Trustees. The reason I care about the organization is that first husband was a beneficiary of the then-new dialysis treatment in the late 60s and early 70s, and it extended his life seven years. We were newlyweds when he began treatment, and he eventually succumbed to septicemia, a major threat in those days. But I will forever be grateful for the extra years we had together, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to give back to an organization that gave us that time.
The facts of kidney disease are sobering: 1 in 9 people in this country have chronic kidney disease (CKD)–and most don’t know it. It’s a simple matter to have kidney function added to the screening criteria when you get a blood test as part of your annual exam. Ask your doctor to include it! For more information on CKD, go to www.nwkidney.org. And don’t forget to fill out an organ donor card–or have the donor tag added on your driver’s license. You could literally be a lifesaver even after your own comes to an end. To register as a donor go to www.livinglegacyregistry.org.