Dialysis Sidekicks Program at Downstate

The Dialysis Sidekicks Program at Downstate is a mentorship program between Downstate students (the “Sidekicks”) and the Downstate pediatric/adolescent dialysis patients. This is one of the only clubs that allow you to have a close, longitudinal relation to a patient.

As Sidekicks, we spend time (~30 min to 1 hour weekly or biweekly) with adolescents/young adults at the Downstate Dialysis Center located at 710 Parkside Avenue (on the corner of Nostrand and Parkside Ave.) while they receive treatment. Spending time with patients can involve chatting with them, playing board and card games, doing puzzles, helping them with their homework, etc. Each patient is assigned several sidekicks who will take turns visiting.

These patients will spend ~12 hours/week receiving treatment in a windowless room. Research has shown that pediatric patients on dialysis have higher rates of depression and social isolation. This program is meant to provide them with a familiar face that will keep them on track with their dialysis treatments and to provide them with entertainment, mentorship, and a new friend. Many of the patients have bonded with their mentors in the past and have expressed that they looked forward to seeing them each week.


Holiday cards were decorated and will be given to the dialysis patients!

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