WASHINGTON – When Justin Charles Evans began suffering from kidney failure, he said his career as an actor and stunt double came to a halt. He and others rallied outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning to advocate for the improved care of dialysis patients. 

Evans wants to spread awareness about how many Black dialysis patients receive poor care.

“I saw other people are going through worse things than me. D.C. is a district, it’s not even a state, so they treat those people horribly,” he said. “That made me say if I have to die for this, then I will. I will step up and I will say something because I can’t just sit silently while my family – my people – die.”

According to a video by Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition, the per capita costs of dialysis in the United States are the highest in the industrialized world, but the U.S. still has one of the highest prevalences of kidney failure, disproportionately affecting minority and low-income individuals.

Rhonda Hamilton, the president of the Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition, called the two largest dialysis providers, DeVita and Fresenius, “big dialysis” and a “duopoly.” The coalition’s video said the companies “put profits before proper patient healthcare.”

“We must dismantle ‘big dialysis,’” Hamilton said in front of Thursday’s crowd.

A table at Thursday’s rally had piles of shirts urging Congress to take action against “big dialysis” (Ruby Grisin/MNS).


Coalition members and advocates gathered in front of the Capitol to urge lawmakers to prevent the influence of “big dialysis” (Ruby Grisin/MNS).


Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition President Rhonda Hamilton provided a T-shirt for an attendee at Thursday’s rally (Ruby Grisin/MNS).


Rally attendees posed together with protest signs in Union Square outside the U.S. Capitol Building (Ruby Grisin/MNS).


Actor and stunt double Justin Charles Evans, who is a dialysis patient and activist, held a book about the horrors of the United States’ healthcare system, titled “How to Make a Killing,” by Tom Mueller (Ruby Grisin/MNS).


People came together on Thursday to press for more equality and better care for dialysis patients (Ruby Grisin/MNS).