Mendel started his volunteering stint with NKF as a student representative in 2018. Then, he led his cohort of club mates to befriend patients at one of NKF’s dialysis centres on a weekly basis. A natural leader, he is currently sitting in the NKF Volunteer Committee as Logistics Manager. Here, he shares his experience of volunteering with NKF and how he finds it fulfilling and meaningful.
“When our student group first signed up as volunteers, we were introduced to the Kidney Discovery Centre which highlighted the different stages of kidney failure and how they occur. It was an enriching experience as we learnt how prevalent kidney failure can be and some of the challenges and restrictions that NKF patients face. This motivated me to be more involved in NKF’s cause as it aims towards the betterment of these dialysis patients.
One of the most memorable volunteering experiences is hearing the life experiences of patients, which often provides us with a different perspective on certain social issues around us. It is indeed inspiring to see patients’ great fighting spirit and positive outlook towards life despite their condition. There are also patients who take their own time to help and encourage their fellow patients.
“The antidote to negativity isn’t positivity, it’s warmth.” This was a quote I came across some time ago, which resonated deeply with me as it does spotlight the attitude we should have towards some of the dialysis patients. There are some days where the patients are having a hard time either at work or home and feeling down. Although some may appreciate words of encouragement or advice, most of them are just looking out for a listening ear. Therefore, you need not worry about whether you have the best advice or solution for their problems, as what they need is just your time and patience to listen to them.”
“Volunteering with NKF has not only been an eye-opening experience but also an enriching one. NKF will deepen your understanding of kidney health, which you can then advocate to those around you and thus prevent kidney failure.”