Vallie’s Fruit Salad and Watermelon Summer Cooler by MaryAnn from North Carolina

The single most important thing people with kidney disease can do to improve their health is have a positive attitude. That’s the advice of DaVita dietitian MaryAnn. “I try to motivate the patients to be as enthusiastic and concerned about their labs and life as I am.” She adds, “And it’s very rewarding when patients realize how full of life they can feel once they adhere to the diet, take their meds and come for treatments.”

Since completing her education at Winthrop College in South Carolina, MaryAnn has enjoy making a difference in her patients’ lives by being attentive to their needs and showing them that she truly cares. “My approach is using mega doses of humor and praise, sprinkled with genuine concern and occasionally being direct,” she shares. “By working diligently with new patients, I prove to them that they will feel better once they act on the advice of the DaVita team.”

After 2 years with DaVita and a total of 11 years working in dialysis, MaryAnn is still as excited about helping people as when she first started. “I love everything about working at DaVita,” she says. “Really!”

And, luckily for her patients, MaryAnn isn’t shy about sharing her feelings.

“Last Christmas Eve, as I called the 7 a.m. patients in to be weighed, I asked them if I could have a few minutes of their time before they obtained their weight. I proceeded to inform them that I had enjoyed working with them, and before I said another word, I looked at the patients faces and there was not a dry eye between them. I then continued, choked up as I was, to inform them that they all meant a great deal to me, how they were the reason I enjoyed my job as much as I do, and I hoped that we all would have many more Christmases together. As they left they all hugged me and stated how much my little Christmas message meant to them, and how relieved they were, as at first they concluded that I was going to leave them. It was touching to me in hearing their comments. Those kind comments and hugs made my Christmas extra special.”

Try MaryAnn’s recipe for Vallie’s Fruit Salad. Her version is modified a friend’s recipe and named after a patient who absolutely loves it. She makes this recipe for her patients several times a year and always gets rave reviews. There’s also her refreshing Watermelon Summer Cooler. Make the final summer days extra special, or enjoy these delicious recipes throughout the year.

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