I’ve had a very busy start of the school year. The best part about starting 8th grade this year is performing with the drill team at the football games on Friday night. Our school is 3-0 so far. We had a pep rally recently where I performed with my team. We are praying for another win at next the game.
This year I joined band front as a drill team member. I attended band camp for the first time this summer in preparation, and it was a blast! I have developed some great friendships. In the spring, I plan on joining the softball team.
PKD has impacted my life at school in both a positive and a negative way. I’ve lost some friendships because of it, mainly because some of my peers think I am seeking attention because I don’t look sick. They don’t see or feel how I feel on the inside. The fatigue is difficult some days. The positive is that I know who my friends truly are. They are there to support me on the not so good days. My friend Olivia is always there for me. She joined me and my family at the Pittsburgh Walk for PKD on Saturday, September 17th. I was thankful she came and walked with me for my cause.
I’ve also experienced negativity from some teachers, but we have addressed it at school. My mom and I even experienced it with the school nurse. She told my mom that I was trying to get out of class with my visits to her and bathroom breaks. My mom had to explain my condition and its effects on my body.
It’s all about educating the public. Even adults don’t understand sometimes. Once they understand what PKD is, they are supportive. It is frustrating at times though. My coaches are always understanding about my disease. I explain it, and they tell me to come see them if I need anything.
I want people at my school to know that I am not faking; my illness is real, I am not lying. The pain and fatigue are real! I would like to educate them on PKD by showing them what my kidneys look like on the inside and explaining to them how this disease affects the rest of my body, too.
How do you educate others about PKD?
Paige is 13 years old and lives in Pittsburgh, PA. She is active in sports at her school, and is a member of the drill team. In past years, she has also been a member of the wrestling, volleyball and softball teams at her school.