My name is Paige Trischler, but I also go by Elisabeth Rae. I am 16 and from Pittsburgh, Penn. I was diagnosed with PKD in October 2015 and got in involved with the PKD Foundation through going to Chapter meetings. One of the amazing ladies in the Pittsburgh Chapter reached out to the Foundation about me, and a few weeks later, a member of the staff emailed me about writing for their blog. My first posts were about my PKD journey, how I deal with an invisible illness, and how thankful I am to have a good support system.
Since the last time you heard from me, I have been diagnosed with Anemia and have been experiencing extreme fatigue. While I was in school last year, I fell behind because I was so sick and could barely get out of bed. As the year came to an end, I had three options: go to summer school, attempt to get all my work turned in within a short timespan, or stay back a year. I chose to stay back a year, so instead of graduating in 2021, I’ll be graduating in 2022. I never in a million years thought this would ever happen to me, but I soon realized that this year would be a time for personal growth, and everything would work out.
During this year, I was offered an opportunity to model in New York Fashion Week for Dress Haute and Matilda Jane. Through this, I have met some amazing people and I owe it all to Carrie Ann. My mom and Carrie worked together at JC Penney’s when my Mom was pregnant with me. I went to Carrie’s store for my eighth grade formal dress and my homecoming dress, and she asked me to model in her upcoming fashion show that spring. I am hoping through modeling, I can show young people with PKD that we can still do anything we want. I also hope to raise more awareness after going to the PKD in Children Conference in Chicago this May.
The best advice I could give others looking for opportunities to raise awareness about PKD is to join a PKD Chapter in your area, share information to your social media accounts, be involved in your local Walk for PKD, and check out the PKD Foundation website for more resources!
Do you want to join Paige in raising awareness for PKD? Take our Kidney Month Challenge!