ASN Kidney Week is unique among medical society gatherings for elevating the patient voice during the annual meeting. Accelerating innovation and discovery in the kidney disease space makes including the perspectives of people with kidney disease in scientific meetings and other forums essential. During the ASN Kidney Week Annual Meeting, more than 10 people with kidney disease gave talks on a variety of topics.
The foremost of the patient presentations was the Celeste Castillo Lee Memorial Lectureship, a rare example of a lecture endowed in the name of a patient and presented during a medical society meeting. Established in 2017, the lecture continues the legacy of Celeste Castillo Lee, who championed people with kidney disease for 30 years. She served in many leadership roles throughout the community, including on the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) Board of Directors and as the founding chair of the KHI Patient and Family Partnership Council, bringing her experience with peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, and transplantation to drug and device development. Her life inspired and motivated a generation of people with kidney disease and kidney health professionals.
Derek Forfang, a 10-year veteran of advocacy on behalf of people with kidney diseases, delivered this year’s lecture, which focused on the topic, “How can patients be treated as individuals?” For 20 years, Mr. Forfang has had kidney failure. He experienced in-center hemodialysis before receiving a kidney transplant. His experience in and with people on dialysis provided firsthand knowledge into the culture of dialysis clinics and how the current system is not designed to be people centered.