My parents found out that I had a congenital kidney problem when I was 2 years old. I had my first surgery when I was just 2.5 years old & have had many "medical adventures" (as I like to call them) since then. I have been on dialysis now over half my life (about 20 years) in between having 4 kidney transplants (my longest one lasting almost 8 years). I have tried pretty much every modality of dialysis on pretty much every machine. Witnessing many of the aspects of the field first hand, I can tell you that it’s been a long, difficult journey in which I've met lots of amazing, caring, wonderful people. Growing up with kidney disease has given me a very unique perspective & has forced me to figure out how to juggle my medical issues with the rest of life and all its other milestones.
I joined DPC as a Patient Ambassador back in 2009 hoping to help & educate fellow patients and their families as well as advocate to our representatives about kidney disease and it's an honor to be serving as a member of the Board of Directors of such a forward-thinking organization. A few years ago I started my own website (KidneyLiving.com) in the hopes that my experiences and the things I've learned can help others and maybe in some way make their journey a little easier. For the last few years, I have also have done some fundraising for the NKF of Greater NY through their annual Kidney Walk.
I am currently on home hemodialysis while waiting to get another transplant. I have always felt that staying informed about your disease is key to making the treatment work. So if I could leave you with one thing, I would like to say: “The only person with you (the patient) all the time, is you (the patient), so the more involved you are in your care, the better the outcome!”