Before Noah and I moved from Pennsylvania to California in May of 2010, he asked my dad for my hand in marriage. My father said yes, but was honest with him and cautioned him that our future together may not be easy because of my health. I recently found out that Noah’s mother had the same conversation with him. I appreciate our parents being open with Noah because I, too, had this talk with him. Noah was well aware of the potential of our future, was fully committed and asked me to marry him. We celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary on September 17th.
I’ve been asked on several occasions about how to talk about PKD when dating someone. My first response is to be honest, and this remains true through marriage. Noah has taught me so much and has helped me become the woman I am today. When we first met, I was five years post-transplant and very healthy. I was not bashful, and very soon after we met, I shared with him that I had PKD. There is no need to hide our disease, because we want and deserve someone that will respect and love us just the way we are. We need a strong partner to share the good days and one who will support us during challenging times.
Several years after Noah and I started dating, more health issues arose. His dedication exemplifies unconditional love and that there are individuals out there who can handle our health issues and who are willing to join us on this unique journey. I admire and respect so much about Noah. I love how he has embraced PKD by learning everything about it, being actively involved in the PKD community by volunteering and setting a great example as a caregiver, taking such an active role in my health and helping to take care of me. I know not every man can handle what Noah does and I immensely appreciate his endless love.
Noah and I don’t exactly live a “normal” 30-something lifestyle, and at times it is hard for me during hospital stays to know and see what I put Noah through. However, he reminds me that I did not choose this lifestyle and that I did not do anything to cause the negative issues that sometimes happen to me. He says that he could have married a perfectly healthy woman who could suddenly get ill. When it comes to health, there are no guarantees.
I believe being open and honest about PKD in the beginning of our relationship set a positive tone. Open communication has been key for both of us. It has kept us strong, able to help and love each other as best we can, and it created the awesome team that we are. We approach everything as a team and I am so thankful to have a fun, smart, handsome, caring, dedicated, loving man who makes me laugh and smile through the extraordinarily beautiful days and the extraordinarily challenging ones, too. Noah has taught me to be proud of the strong woman that I am and he gives me something to look forward to every day!
Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary Noah! Thank you for your endless love!
We all deserve to share our lives with someone who will love and care for us no matter what. I hope you have found your partner and teammate in life. If not, I trust one is out there and I hope you find him or her. Whether it is a friend, partner, parent etc., who would you like to thank for their endless love?
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary !! May your blessings fill your hearts and engage your spirits every day!
Lots of love:)
P.S. Sorry I haven’t written — too much going on and too little time.
Thank you, Karin, for your beautiful sentiments! Sending lots of love your way. Hope all is well! xo
Wonderful story. I am married 21 years to a man that is so supportive, helpful and loving. I have PKD and severe PLD – to the point where my mobility is limited but my hubby is right there to help me put on socks, take me to Drs appointments, go shopping for me and hold me when the pain and frustration gets me down. Sometimes I feel that he has been cheated due to my illness but he will hear nothing of it – takes it all in stride. Despite having this horrible disease, I consider myself one of the luckiest women alive since I have the love and support of this amazing man.
Thank you for sharing this. It warmed my heart and I can deeply connect with you. I feel the same at times and think Noah is “cheated” because of my health issues. Like you, I feel amazingly lucky to have his love and focus on his/our love on the really hard days. Your husband sounds like an incredible man and I’m so happy that you have him. Wishing you the best on your journey. Hugs!
Congratulations on your 5th Wedding Anniversary Valen & Noah. Great job you two! Praying for 60 more!
Thank you so much, Betsy! What a blessing 60 more would be! I hope you’re doing great and feeling well! Miss you!