Rental Travel Trailer Equipped with Mobil Dialysis Unit
Nancy Verdin's dialysis unit saved her life after kidney failure and three failed transplants. But the unit has also tied her down and restricted her freedom to travel and visit old friends. Taking a trip means booking dialysis treatments months ahead of time in hospitals at her destinations. Hospital space in Canada is limited, effectively shutting out some travelers. "I have been unable to go to family events because I couldn't get a dialysis bed," said the 46-year- old Red Deer resident who receives home dialysis treatments six nights a week. "I used to attend an international music camp in the International Peace Gardens between Manitoba and North Dakota." When I couldn't get a dialysis bed, I couldn't go.
Verdin and her business partner Monika Bolin both home hemodialysis patients, realized that many people face the same challenge. So they decided to develop a holiday travel trailer complete with dialysis unit and water filtration system .
Now they rent the trailer to dialysis patients as part of their non-profit, Red Deer-based venture called Traveling Dialysis RV Association. The travel trailer, the first of its kind in Canada, was donated by Travelaire Canada.
Verdin said dialysis treatment is usually required a minimum of three days a week. Moving a home dialysis unit which weighs 108kg and is about the size of a refrigerator, into a trailer would be difficult and awkward. "This travel trailer allows us to take a dialysis machine with us. We can go camping, visit family or friends, attend celebrations and reunions."
The association is raising funds for operating costs, insurance, linens and dishes. The association is working with the Northern Alberta Renal Program, which will provide 24-hour phone support and technical support for the dialysis unit. The unit and filtration system, valued together at $45,000, were donated by manufacturers. The trailer will be promoted throughout Alberta.
Their plans include increasing the fleet by adding RVs and trucks for towing the holiday trailer. Other ideas include providing shuttle service between Red Deer and airports in Edmonton and Calgary for clients flying in as well as installing other types of dialysis equipment to accommodate worldwide clients. The service is not intended for people who receive dialysis at a hospital and are unable to care for themselves. The association will accept people who organize dialysis assistance for themselves.
"Our goal is to offer the lowest rental rates possible while still maintaining a sustainable organization," said Verdin.