Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio
3100 W. Central Avenue Suite 150
Toledo, Ohio 43606
Phone: 419.329.2196
Fax: 419.531.6080

Peer Support

Renal Resource Peers (RRP) is a one-on-one peer support program provided by the Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio. Volunteers of KF will provide support to kidney patients and/or family members of kidney patients.

Transplants Assisting Transplants (TAT) is a one-on-one peer support program provided by the Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio. Volunteers of KF will provide support to kidney transplant recipients and/or family members of kidney transplant recipients.

Why would I want to speak to a RRP or TAT Volunteer Peer?

During a traumatic time in one's life, the emotion of empathy can be very powerful. It is not sympathy or feeling sorry for another person. Empathy is the feeling of "I can imagine what it would be like to walk in your shoes." Many of our volunteers have been where the patient/family member is right now. It can be wonderfully helpful and supportive to speak to someone who knows what the patient is going through. We are not implying that every person's experience with kidney disease is the same. Everyone's experiences and emotions are quite unique.

In some situations, a patient/family member may prefer to speak to someone other than a family member or a health professional. If that is the case, then we have people who want to listen and provide support to a person who needs it.

How are matches made?

Volunteers are matched with patients/family members based on questionnaires completed by both people. The Patient Services Director or Education Coordinator at the Kidney Foundation will make the best match possible using the given information. Thus, the term 'peer.' It is usually up to the patient/family member to make contact with the KF volunteer. The two can set a mutually convenient day, time, and place to meet. If it is more convenient, a session may take place by telephone.

Will our conversation be confidential?

Yes, all information shared by the patient/family member will be kept confidential by the volunteer. There are two exceptions: if the patient/family member expresses an intent to harm him/herself, or another person. If the volunteer learns of this, he or she is to contact the Kidney Foundation immediately.

Is the KF volunteer a trained counselor?

No. Our volunteers are people who have gone through dialysis or are currently going through dialysis. Or, they may be a parent, spouse, or other loved-one of a kidney patient. They are all people who know what the emotions and concerns are of a person affected by kidney disease. They are participating because they care and want to help in a way they were once helped.

Our volunteers are not professionally trained; however, most have received some training in peer listening skills. They know it is more important to listen rather than to share their own experiences. Volunteers have also been informed about numerous community resources in order to help a patient/family member with a need in a particular area.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In addition to completing a questionnaire, the patient/family member will also be asked to complete an evaluation after his or her session with a KF peer listening volunteer. It is helpful for us to know whether the patient/family member felt that the session was helpful. We would also like to know if there is anything that we can do to improve the program in any needed areas. We feel that the best feedback comes from a person who has participated in the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

How do I become a part of RRP/TAT? Just follow click on the link and fill out the application. You can email it to KF or fax it at (419) 531-6080