Bob Abbott, a Pine Bluff resident and businessman, received the National Patient Engagement & Advocacy “National Voice Award.”

The award was presented during the the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) 50th anniversary meeting at Washington, D.C., according to a news release.

Abbott is a charter member of the Arkansas Kidney Disease Commission and the National Kidney Foundation.

Abbott was in Washington in September to speak to the AAKP, along with several hundred brain surgeons, transplant doctors, kidney doctors, the director of Kidney Research for the National Health Department and doctors from South America and Ireland.

Transplant recipients, kidney donors, dialysis patients, nurses and people from all over the country attended the event, according to the news release.

“I did not know they were giving me an award,” Abbott said. “I do believe this was one of the most tiring and stressful situations I have ever experienced.”

“After my speech, people were standing and clapping and they were coming and wanting a picture made with me,” Abbott said.

Some people thanked Abbott for all the work he had done over the 50 years and how he helped save their lives.

“With a budget of $114 billion dollars, I sure hope we are saving many lives,” he said. “A long ways from Sparkman/Bearden Ark., where I started for sure.”

In a previous article, Abbott discussed what his family faced in 1970, when his father, Floyd Abbott, was diagnosed with kidney failure.

“Abbott’s father would be the first patient of a then new home artificial kidney machine dialysis program that was to be operated by the family,” according to the article.

AAKP is the largest, oldest, independent kidney patient organization in America with more than 100,000 patient and caregiver members, the article said.