The theme for Renal Support Network’s (RSN) 15th annual Patient Essay Contest is, “Describe a positive decision that you have made about your health care.” All submissions must be written by someone who has been diagnosed with CKD.

“People who successfully adapt to life with a chronic illness like kidney disease learn both universal and specific coping skills,” says Lori Hartwell, RSN’s founder and president. “The people who suffer from kidney disease know firsthand the importance of sharing their experiences and inspiring their peers.”

Contest winners will receive cash prizes, including $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $100 for third place. The submission deadline is August 10th. Winning essays will be featured in RSN’s publication, Live & Give, and on

Last year’s first place winner Sasha Couch said, “Having kidney disease can be a very lonely journey despite being surrounded by people who love and support you. It feels less lonely when others who know exactly what you experience daily share their stories and feelings. I really value the stories others share.”

For information about the contest, rules and to read previous winning essays, visit

The essay contest is supported by:
Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
Fresenius Medical Care
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
National Renal Administrators Association
NxStage Medical, Inc.
U.S. Renal Care