If you, a family member or friend are impacted by PKD, sometimes you need advice, encouragement or a shoulder to lean on from someone who knows firsthand what you’re going through. Enter our PKD Connect Peer Mentor Program.
This new program, part of our PKD Connect Resource Center, is designed to help facilitate and build a strong support system for you and your mentor. Whether you or your loved one has just been diagnosed or is getting ready for dialysis or a kidney transplant, PKD Connect mentors are here to listen to concerns and share their own experiences and perspectives.
PKD Connect mentors are carefully selected and trained so they can provide support, guidance and best assist you and your unique needs, whether they need to listen, find current information, or be there when no one else can.
Here is how finding a mentor works:
- Fill out the survey that helps us determine which mentor would be a good fit for you.
- Call the PKD HOPE line at 844.PKD.HOPE and a staff member can help you fill out the survey.
Once you filled out the survey, a staff member will match you with the right mentor and send out an introductory email. The email will contain your and your mentor’s contact information and your mentor will reach out to you to schedule your first call.
Keep in mind that you can have a mentor as long as you feel the need, there is no time restriction. However, this is not a crisis-based program, so each and every session must be scheduled prior. While mentors are trained, they are not trained medically, so they cannot give you any medical advice.
Tips to make the mentee-mentor relationship successful:
- Be honest and open. Remember, your mentor has been in your shoes and they are here to help you, so being honest will help your mentor truly get to know you and give you the best possible resources.
- Have realistic expectations. Stay focused on the agreed goals and respect your mentor’s time.
- Help your mentor help you. Tell your mentor if you have preferred or specific ways they can be most helpful to you.
- Be prepared to ask for specific advice. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your mentor to respond.
- Share the responsibility. The focus of mentoring is on you. Work collaboratively with your mentor to make progress in the relationship. Their role is to help facilitate your development, so take the initiative and follow-up on agreed upon goals.
- Honor your commitment. Regular, ongoing contact is one of the most important building blocks for successful mentoring. Agree with your mentor to meet on a regular and ongoing basis and avoid canceling appointments.
- Don’t get discouraged. The early stages of a mentoring relationship can feel awkward. Starting any relationship takes time and patience. Ease your way in using the tips above and you’ll find your connection!
If you’re interested in our Peer Mentor Program, visit our website to learn more and find your peer mentor today!