It is with great pleasure that I, TJ Mayfield, am writing this introductory post to you as the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Kidney Foundation. I am a former educator and Project Manager with the American Heart Association where I helped lead the fight for expansion of access to health care in Mississippi. As the leader of the “Care 4 Mississippi” coalition, I managed meetings and spearheaded the program to add more than 15 coalition members to the campaign. I have also recently served as the Metro Regional Director for Chrome to oversee canvassers for Child Tax Credit Program in addition to being an organizer for the Restaurant Opportunities Center United. I am a 2015 and 2018 graduate from Alcorn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s in Workforce Leadership.
As a former dialysis patient and 2019 recipient of a kidney transplant, I have first-hand knowledge of the daily struggles that Mississippi renal patients face. As I college sophomore at Alcorn State University, I remember the difficult days of missing out on some of my college experience due to having to begin my peritoneal dialysis at the age of 21. One of the lowest points of my life was being unable to attend my grandfather’s funeral due to being hospitalized with peritonitis. Before my grandfather passed away, he chose me as the only grandchild he wanted to speak at his funeral, but my doctor advised me against going due to the pain I was in. A few months before he passed away, he told me “Son you will get your kidney one day but I’m sorry I won’t be here to see it.” The depression that I eventually overcame was due to having a strong support system and belief in God. The challenging experiences I endured of going through End Stage Renal failure will drive me daily to change and save lives in my role as Executive Director. In this capacity, I will educate and inspire patients in every corner of this great state. I intend to use creative fundraisers and build strong relationships with board members, donors, sponsors, and Nephrologists who will help elevate our organization to a new level. With your help, we can ensure that the Mississippi Kidney Foundation will thrive for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.