It’s not unusual to hear people expressing a bit of extra thanks this time of year. We take time to reflect on those things that make our lives better, worth living. Blessings small and large, people who support and love us regardless of the circumstances, a place to call home, a job, or health status, which for kidney disease patients can be uncertain.
We asked several of our NxStage Patient Advocates to share their feelings on the people, places and things for which they are most thankful. Not surprisingly, their answers were touching, heart-warming and thought provoking. We hope you enjoy reading them and that they provide some inspiration for you as well.
What’s something unusual that you’re grateful for?
“Something I’ve learned that may sound surprising, but that later I learned was something to be thankful for, is that everything we went through led us to where we are now. Everything we learned along the way is something we can use to inspire others. We get to be balcony people, which is like when you’re standing on a balcony and you’re pulling someone else up.”
Lacye Trevino, Houston, TX, NxStage Patient Advocate/Former Care Partner and kidney donor for husband, Sam Trevino.
What in your life are you most thankful for?
“That’s a very easy question to answer. I’m thankful for the kidney transplant I received July 7, 2017. Because, get this, my sister in law donated a kidney to me. Not a blood relative, my sister-in-law! Her selfless act gave me my life back. That really touched me. When someone hit my (parked) car the other day I thought “You know what? I got a transplant! What am I going to be upset about!?’””
Anthony Cartwright, Savannah, GA, NxStage Patient Advocate/Former more frequent home hemodialysis (HHD) patient
Who are you most thankful for?
“I am thankful for my family and my home and my friends. For their continued support and their love for me. The reason I’m so thankful for home is because I get to share it with my wonderful husband, who I love very much.”
Chelsea Roman, Grass Valley, CA, NxStage Patient Advocate/More frequent HHD patient
Who are the people you can’t live without?
“For the past six years I’ve been on dialysis and my husband and kids have definitely been my backbone. My children give me that fighting spirit to keep me pushing. My husband of 13 years is an active -veteran, and even with all that he is going through he still helps me every day. I’m also thankful for my kidney dialysis care team. They’ve been like an extended family to me. Whenever I need something they are always there.”
Roxanne Soriano, Las Vegas, NV, NxStage Patient Advocate/More frequent HHD patient
What changes in your life are you most grateful for?
“The Lord gave me an opportunity to get my house, my own business and everything we thought we’d never have again when we left Puerto Rico (Antonio and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 2010, leaving behind a home, jobs, family, etc.). I am also thankful for the work I get to do as a Patient Advocate. Now I can give hope to people. Hope that they can get better and that their life isn’t over.”
Antonio Santiago, Palm Bay, FL, NxStage Patient Advocate/Former more frequent HHD patient
What makes you thankful every day?
“When I was stricken with kidney disease, I was told that I had five years to live. I was given an end-of-life coach, and I was resigning myself to the fact I wouldn’t be here much longer. I’m thankful for still being here 10 years from the date of diagnosis. I’m thankful for every day. I am a brand-new grandad of a grandson and it’s a blessing for me, the fact that I can look forward to the future with my grandkids, to bringing them to Florida to swim with the dolphins someday.”
Thomas Holmes, Detroit, Michigan, NxStage Patient Advocate/More frequent HHD patient
What are you thankful for in this moment?
“I have to say I think I’m most thankful for my dialysis and for NxStage right now, and for being able to do my treatments at home, which allows me to have precious time with my family. I thank God for that every day. Also, for my husband. I couldn’t live without him. He prays with me before every treatment, and he’s so calming and positive about the future. I believe that we will get a kidney in the future and I’m preparing for that.”
Sherry McCormick, Marble Hill, Missouri, NxStage Patient Advocate/More frequent HHD patient
Who inspires you most?
“A person who inspired me was my friend (a fellow “kidney warrior” who passed away). When we met it was an instant sisterhood. Us being able to talk and share stories, and the fight she had in her, even with all the stuff she had been going through. When we lost her it was devastating, but she left a legacy ... she’s one of the reasons we’re here as patients advocates. Just her spirit and personality and friendship. It was so genuine.”
Tangela Robinson, Fairburn, Georgia, NxStage Patient Advocate/Former more frequent HHD patient