Thursday, March 12 marks the National Kidney Foundation's World Kidney Day. World Kidney Day focuses on helping those who have kidney disease live with it and how to prevent kidney failure.

High blood pressure and diabetes are two major causes for kidney failure. If kidney failure occurs, dialysis is the patient's next step.

Amie Duemer with the South Plains Kidney Foundation told Tom and Laura that there are 636,000 people on dialysis across the United States, with 44,000 dialysis patients in Texas alone. In the Lubbock area, more than 800 people are on dialysis.

(Author's note: Two of those 800 Lubbockites on dialysis are my dad, who started his treatments in 2008, and my sister, who started her treatments in 2010. Both receive dialysis due to diabetes and high blood pressure. In center or Hemodialysis is the type of treatment my dad and sister receive at Fresenius Dialysis Centers three times a week for four hours each time, for a total of 12 hours a week on dialysis.)

"Thirty years ago when I came to Lubbock, we were the only dialysis center between Amarillo and Odessa," said Christy Diaz of Fresenius. "We have a lot of patients traveling three to four hours just to come for a four-hour treatment three times a week, so that's a full time job just for their dialysis."

Dialysis patients range from ages 5 to 95. However, the average age is between 50 to 65 years old. Kidney failure doesn't discriminate in who it chooses.

Listen to the entire interview with Amie Duemer and Christy Diaz in the video above.

Tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac each weekday morning from 6 to 8:30 a.m. on NewsTalk 790 KFYO or online at

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