Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with kidney disease as a child and started dialysis at age 11. Because I didn't think I would live to adulthood, I adopted the philosophy of living each day like it was my last. In 2013, when I saw an ad for the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk, I figured I had nothing to lose by participating.
The day of the walk, a large group of family and friends showed up bright and early, and we raised well over $1,000 to support the National Kidney Foundation. I was overwhelmed by all the love and support I received that day. I thought life was unfair, but at the Kidney Walk, I saw that thousands of others are also fighting against kidney disease and they aren't giving up, so why should I?
From that day forward, my outlook changed. I'm convinced that once I changed my attitude and started thinking positively, positive things started happening in my life. Last year, at age 30, I received a kidney transplant after being on the waiting list for 20 years. This gift gave me a new lease on life, and I want to pay it forward.
In honor of National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day on March 12, will you please help me spread the word about the importance of protecting the kidneys and preventing kidney disease? — Carmelo Escalera, Bronx, N.Y.
Dear Carmelo: Thank you for letting us know how a positive attitude can change your life. Over 73 million American adults are at risk for developing kidney disease. Early detection and healthy lifestyle changes can make a critical difference in protecting the kidneys and preventing further damage.
Major risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older. Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease. During your next physical, ask your health care practitioner to check your kidneys to see whether you are at risk. For more advice on protecting these vital organs and staying healthy, and for a schedule of free KEEP Healthy kidney screenings across the country, visit the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org/screening.
Dear Annie: I am single and have a pet peeve with married couples. When I need to provide a gift or bring a snack, I must bring enough for each individual. But when couples supply a gift or food, they provide it as one unit, not two people, spending less than we do for gifts and hosting in rotation fewer times. How can I tactfully point out the inequity in this situation? — An Individual
Dear Individual: We understand your dilemma. Hosting duties usually are per location, so that two people living together open their home to guests as often as anyone else, but this can make a single person's costs for providing hospitality higher than those who are sharing the bill. Are there other singles? Could you join with one of them and share hosting duties? Can you ask that your turn in rotation happen less often? It's OK to bring up the subject, as long as you don't accuse others of deliberately being unfair or taking advantage. We don't believe this is the case. Simply ask for their help in making things more equitable.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Frustrated Co-Worker," whose co-worker complained about her pesky neighbor. I think I may have a simple solution. She should buy a "Do Not Disturb" sign and hang it on the outside doorknob when she arrives home. Explain to the neighbor that when that sign is on her door, she is not up to company and therefore will not answer the door. Maybe she can get the message to the neighbor without any hurt feelings. — Easy Solution
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.