Conservative journalist Bill Robinson said he has former President Donald Trump to thank, in part, for him being alive today.
Robinson recounted in a two-part Newsmax story that in early 2017 he was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Disease.
Without a kidney transplant, his prognosis for long-term survival was dim.
Robinson immediately went on dialysis and waited for the hoped-for transplant.
“At least 120,000 Americans wait on a national kidney transplant list with 33 dying every single day for lack of a kidney,” he wrote. “Only .9 percent, fewer than 1 in 100 kidney patients survive dialysis.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kidney diseases are a leading cause of death in the United States, with about 37 million suffering from chronic kidney disease.
However, an executive order Trump issued in July 2019 addressed the shortage of kidneys available for transplant directly.
The order — titled “Advancing American Kidney Health” — provides that U.S. policy shall be to “increase access to kidney transplants by modernizing the organ recovery and transplantation systems and updating outmoded and counterproductive regulations.”
The directive called on the secretary of Health and Human Services to “streamline and expedite the process of kidney matching and delivery to reduce the discard rate. Removing process inefficiencies in matching and delivery that result in delayed acceptance by transplant centers will reduce the detrimental effects on organ quality of prolonged time with reduced or cut-off blood supply.”
The order also expanded the amount of cost people can be reimbursed for who are living donors and raised the income threshold of those who qualify for reimbursement.
At least 120,000 Americans wait on a national kidney transplant list.
I was honored to stand beside kidney patients, their families, and caregivers as President Trump saved countless lives with his Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health. https://t.co/fnMnhGXiHR
— Michael Burgess, MD (@michaelcburgess) January 23, 2023
Months after Trump signed the EO, Robinson received great news.
“On Christmas Day, 2019, as I was exiting a Church service, ‘Joy to the World’ blaring as my friend and I left, when my phone rang,” the journalist recalled. “It was the medical center transplant coordinator saying, ‘Mr. Robinson, we’d like to offer you a kidney.’”
Recently Robinson shared his story with Trump.
“I wanted to thank you for saving my life and thousands of others, President Trump,” Robinson blurted right at the outset of an interview about the program.
Trump was surprised to learn the reporter was a kidney transplant patient himself.
“Oh! Is that true? Are you somebody who had the work done?” the 45th president asked.
“President Trump, I had been on dialysis for more than two years when you signed your order and six months later, I got the call as I was walking out of church on Christmas Day, 2019, that they had a kidney for me,” Robinson responded.
“I got that kidney from a new Hepatitis-C clinical trial program that was really kicked into high gear by your order.”
Trump asked, “And how has it been?”
“Oh, it’s a brand-new world for me, Mr. President,” Robinson said.
The columnist wanted to know why Trump had taken an interest in the issue.
“Why did you help struggling and dying kidney patients like me? Did you have friends or a family member that were in kidney failure?” Robinson asked.
“Well, over the course of years, I’ve known people with this problem, like your problem and over the years, it just sounded like something could be done and it wasn’t being done. So, this was something that could be solved and we thought we could do that,” Trump answered.
The Republican noted how hard it is for people to live who are on dialysis.
“These people were suffering and dying when there was no reason to die. They said they died of hard work, literally,” Trump said. “You have to be a tremendously hard worker to live. And their lives were devoted to it, to living. And it made an impression on me.”
People on dialysis have to sit in a chair three days a week for six hours per day just to get their blood clean enough to keep them alive until the next treatment.
Toxicity in the body quickly builds to lethal levels without the treatments.
“So, you’re leading a very normal life then, huh?” Trump asked Robinson.
“President Trump you wouldn’t believe all the life I’m enjoying. I got to see my namesake grandson turn 4 and the birth of my granddaughter who’s now 2, it’s meant so much to me,” he said.
Part Two of my column, “How President Trump Saved My Life” ran this morning.https://t.co/RDoNfdu4Jr
I don’t tell my story often. But I do it here to help other people. Please help me increase awareness of Kidney Failure and the 40+ million suffering from it. #ProtectYourKidneys
— Relentless Bill Robinson 🇺🇸 (@RelentlessBill) January 24, 2023
Robinson urged people to take care of their kidneys.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure.
A healthy diet low in fast food and sugar helps prevent diabetes and weight gain. Plus exercise burns up sugar in the blood and assists in lowering blood pressure and keeping weight down.
“So, as I pursue an incredible gift of continuing life,” Robinson concluded, “I am always thanking and praying for my anonymous deceased donor and their family; my transplant surgeon; President Trump and God Almighty.”
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