MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this month aimed at reducing the number of Americans who suffer from kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. It’s a disease that impacts many who live here in the Mid-South.
The White House announcement comes as experts predict that kidney failure will increase anywhere from 29% to 68% in the next decade.
Now the president wants to double the number of kidney transplants by 2030. The president’s announcement calls for big changes for millions of Americans suffering from chronic kidney disease so more people can have outcomes like James Rogers.
Rogers was tethered to a dialysis machine at home for the last two and a half years, seven days a week, nine hours a day.
Rogers was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at the age of 22. Ten years later he was placed on the list in need of a kidney donation. Then this year, he was given the gift of a kidney. The donation came without asking from a friend.
“Dialysis is very time consuming that’s the biggest thing,” said Rogers.
The executive order pushes for more education and earlier treatment for people with kidney disease. It also aims to make kidney transplants easier to get by encouraging more people to become donors with reimbursements for lost wages and child care.
“With the emphasis on live donor transplantation and taking away the financial impact on the donor to encourage live donation, that’s going to have a tremendous impact,” said Dr. James Eason, program director for the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital in Partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Each year at the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital in Partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center doctors perform more than 140 kidney transplant surgeries a year.
The executive order is the first time a president has focused on kidney disease since the early ’70s.
“It will help to save more lives no question,” said Dr. Eason.
A renewed emphasis is now put on living donation and access to at-home dialysis to save the lives of thousands.
The order also is expect to save billions of dollars in care.