First off I want to say how excited and honored I am to be a part of Get Loud for Kidneys. My journey with kidney disease started from day 1. I was born with kidney disease for which I had my first surgery at 6 months old. At age 20 (after a few frustrating years of tests, doctor appointments, etc.) the decision was made to remove my right kidney due to the damage it had sustained and the fact that is was causing my blood pressure to be extremely high.
After my surgery, I was able to live a relatively normal life while managing my disease. April of 2017 I became very ill with the flu. Long story short, I went into full kidney failure and started my first bout of dialysis.
Over the next 3 months, I was monitored by my treatment team very closely and was told by my doctor to move back to Iowa (I was in Kansas City attending graduate school), so he could monitor me more closely and become more established here with my support system and treatment team.
Thankfully my school was willing to work with me and allow me to continue my studies through Skype and biweekly visits. In December I began dialysis while I continued to attend school, work on my practicum and continue my journey.
My purpose and hope being a part of Get Loud for Kidneys, is to be a friend and support to fellow kidney warriors and bring awareness to this disease.
While I was born with a kidney disease, I had very little information or knowledge about my condition or kidney disease in general. I often went into situations blind and naive. If I'm able to help or support even one person impacted in any way by kidney disease by sharing my story and experience, giving information, or just being an ear to listen, I feel that's my duty for which I'm privileged.
I'm so thankful for the kidney community I have recently become a part of on social media with Get Loud for Kidneys. The support I feel is priceless.
In an effort to provide awareness, advocacy and support I have started an Instagram account called Keeping it Renal. I'm excited to be included in the community and look forward to the future expansion of these efforts.
Location: Ankeny, Iowa / Des Moines, Iowa