Nothing is coincidence. I believe we cross paths with people at just the right time in life and for the right reasons. A silver lining of having PKD are the amazing friendships that blossom from battling this disease. Sharing my journey has been the key that has allowed me to discover individuals I never knew existed, who have become my ‘PKD family.’
In early May, I had the joy of visiting dear friends in Toronto, Canada, on my way to a speaking engagement in Montreal. I spent a couple of days with my biographer and his wife, Dennis and Kris McCloskey. You know you have a special friendship when you can go years without seeing one another, and pick up right where you left off. Dennis and I autographed 120 copies of my biography for my keynote speech in Montreal. I greatly appreciated their generosity of opening up their home and their continued love and support. I treasured our quality time together.
I also had the delight of visiting with Jeff Robertson, Executive Director of the PKD Foundation of Canada, and his family. I have been friends with the Robertsons for many years and enjoyed our time together. I met his lovely wife, Brandy, and went to their baby shower. I saw Jeff’s grandmother who is a 92-year-old PKD survivor and doing well with her original kidneys. Spent time with Jeff’s dear mother, Jan, who has had two liver transplants due to PKD and may need a kidney transplant in the near future. I am so thankful that neither Jeff nor his sister have PKD, which means this disease has ended in their family with his mother, Jan, as the final PKD warrior. I look to the McCloskey and Robertson families as my family at heart.
When we connect with other PKD patients and families it is easier to share and discuss how we feel, and the issues that we endure. It is also comforting to know that we are not alone. I find it effortless to be myself around others who can relate. Jeff Robertson is like a brother to me. We traveled together to Montreal and his caring nature meant a lot. He kept encouraging me to drink lots of water and making sure that I was not over-extending myself. I returned home from Canada with an overwhelming amount of gratitude. Thanks to PKD, I have an amazing Canadian PKD family. There is always a silver lining.
Thank you to all my supportive and loving friends whom I have met along my journey who have, in turn, become my ‘family.’ I am forever grateful to have you a part of my life.
What friends would you like to thank for being your family at heart?