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At a local community center in Indianapolis, Darryl York works as a youth football coach and coordinates recreational events for area boys and girls. He is passionate about encouraging the children he works with to make smart choices in their health and day-to-day life.
“It’s important that kids in our community have a role model,” he said, “someone to look up to and show them that being healthy and active is cool.”
York is that role model. For nearly three years, he has been receiving dialysis treatments at our clinics in the Indianapolis area. And he won’t let diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD) stop him from doing what he loves: inspiring youth in his community to be active, be healthy and stay in school.
When he was growing up, York’s mother and grandmother pushed him to be his best and never give up. He relies on his childhood life lessons as he manages his CKD and diabetes. Today, he shares those same lessons with the children in his programs.
One young woman he works with was discouraged in school, until York helped boost her confidence, resulting in straight As on her report card. Last spring, he watched as she walked across the stage to receive her high school diploma. This fall, she started undergraduate classes at Indiana University. “I was so proud of her, I cried,” York said.
He has a similar message of persistence when it comes to his own health condition. “My advice for other people on dialysis or living with diabetes? Same thing I tell the kids I coach: never give up, keep going,” York said.