cousins screenshot
cousins screenshot

Many dialysis patients are unsure how treatment would affect their lives, but long-lost cousins Al Hobson, 81, and Bill Washburn, 71, have dialysis treatments to thank for their reunion. 

Last August, Hobson and Washburn were going through transitional kidney care training at Fresenius Kidney Care in Wichita. The Wichita residents laughed and talked to one another everyday and it wasn’t until the two discussed Bill’s late grandfather, that they began to uncover their linked heritage.

“I told Bill, my earliest recollection is I got relatives buried in Pratt, KS and Bill said I do too. And he says, I’ve got a grandfather that was electrocuted, he’s buried in Ark City. I then asked Do you remember your grandfather’s name? He said sure, it was Francis Perry Hobson. I thought a little bit and finally I said, Bill, I hate to tell you something, buddy, but we’re related. Francis Perry Hobson was my uncle. So, my father and his grandfather were brothers,” said Hobson.

Although the two men have begun their at-home treatments, they have developed a strong bond and keep each other in good spirits. 

“I’m happy that I got to meet Bill, and I’m happy when we spend time together. Every now and then we talk on the phone, checking up on each other to see how we’re doing. We still keep trying to convince ourselves that we’re going to get together and share his family photos and try to figure out more about our shared past,” said Hobson.

Both Hobson and Washburn share the belief that home dialysis has been very beneficial to them, and their hope is that people view dialysis in a different light. 

“The thing I’ve learned about dialysis is that people do not understand it, they kind of think it’s the end, it’s all over with there’s no more fun or anything like that, and that’s not correct, that’s a long way from being a truth. I was very fortunate. I’m thankful for the care unit for making me feel like no problem was too big to overcome,” said Hobson.

Fresenius Kidney Care is home to a Transitional Care Unit (TCU) , a dedicated treatment area for patients recently diagnosed with kidney failure, to explore all their treatment options in a supportive environment and with a dedicated team, empowering many like Al and William to try home dialysis and manage their own care

Both men use their freetime at home to brush up on old hobbies and continue being active members in their community. Washburn, who currently serves on the City of Wichita district six advisory board, has a passion for restoring cars and is looking to get back under the hood soon. Hobson, treasurer of the Valley Center Historical Society Museum board, collects Old-Western memorabilia in his spare time. 

Visit to learn more about the work they do for dialysis patients.


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