WHO IS SALEY ?
I am a 20 year Kidney disease survivor! More importantly, I am wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and mentor to so many. My journey with End Stage Renal Disease began when I was 15 years old. I spent four years on Hemodialysis before being blessed with my first kidney transplant in 2004. For the next 15 years that followed my transplant, I focused on making my second chance at life count by making myself and those around me better. In 2016, I graduated from pharmacy school and have been working as a pharmacist for the past 4 years. Unfortunately, in January 2019, my transplanted kidney failed and I had to resume dialysis and seek a second transplant. I thrived on home dialysis for more than a year and a half. On November 7th 2020, I received my second kidney transplant from a deceased donor.
When I think back to the time I was first diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, I remember feeling like things will never be the same again. But I really did not fully understand the ways in which this diagnosis was going to change not just my life, but that of everyone around me. To think back to that day 20 years ago, I remember being so afraid. Some questions I kept asking out loud were; am I going to die, will I get a chance to go to college, will this disease keep me from having a family of my own? In my quiet hours in the hospital I cried quietly, Devastated by my changed appearance, my inability to play soccer or any sport-I grieved the loss of my life as a “normal teenager.”
My journey with End Stage Renal Disease began when I was 15 years old.
I now had to acclimate to taking medications everyday and choosing not to do so had detrimental consequences to my health. This was the most isolating, and loneliest time of my life. I felt like I was the only person in the world dealing with this. My journey to regaining my power back began with knowing that I was not alone and that others just like me have found a way to live full and productive lives with this illness.
My friends and family describe me as strong willed, driven and loyal. I truly believe that kidney disease is a part of who I am not what I am as a person. I live each day with a grateful heart and look for the opportunity to make each day count as I know no one is promised the next day. I am guided by a personal philosophy that no one or nothing can stop me from achieving everything I ever dreamed of. First, I have to have the courage to keep fighting and to never give up.