Staying Strong: Home Dialysis Fits a Professional’s Busy Schedule

Michael Roberson's dialysis story
Michael Roberson of Louisville, KY knows how to stay busy and keep himself motivated! After being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in 2009, Mike was determined to find a way to take care of his health while keeping up with his busy lifestyle. Mike’s day starts with a workout, and then an 8-hour shift as a customer service representative. He is also working towards a degree in IT/Cyber Security at Louisville’s Sullivan University and is the proud father of two teenage girls.

Mike’s journey with kidney disease began when diabetes and high blood pressure started causing problems with his kidneys. After his diagnosis, Mike found support and strength from his family. His younger brother even donated a kidney to him, which held strong for 11 years. In 2018, the transplanted kidney began to fail, and Mike and his nephrologist began talking about a dialysis treatment option that would be best for his full life.

Exploring dialysis options and asking questions

Mike wanted to find a dialysis center that would offer him the best quality care. “I did my research and realized that Fresenius Kidney Care was the best,” says Mike. Mike also says he had no idea that home hemodialysis (HDD) was an option for him. While at the center, he learned about different treatment options and began to ask questions. Jessica, a home therapy program manager, gave Mike the confidence to try dialyzing at home.

Getting the support to thrive

Now 39 years old and thriving, Mike continues to dialyze at home. He does his best to balance treatment with living an active lifestyle. With the right amount of support, people can do amazing things. For Mike, support from family and his care team is empowering him to live with fewer limitations. 
 

“Doing dialysis at night means I’m able to do all the things I want to do,” says Mike. “If I have to be on dialysis, I wouldn’t choose any other method (of therapy).” According to Mike, “this is the best thing to ever happen. I love the flexibility to do treatments at home, and I feel independent.”

Looking forward and feeling grateful

Mike credits his family with his success on home dialysis. His daughters often watch him do treatments, and his parents and siblings call to check in regularly. He is on a few transplant lists and hopeful that another match is in his future.

In the meantime, Mike is grateful for dialysis, his family, and his care team. “I have personal relationships there,” he says. “We talk about life stuff—the news, sports, movies, etc. It’s a family atmosphere. It is more than them doing their job.” Determined to live life on his own terms, Mike continues to work, study, and be a devoted father. Mike’s journey with kidney disease is proof of his resilience and ability to thrive.


June 2020

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