Palm Beach County reopened on Monday. Stores, restaurants, salons and many other businesses will begin to rebuild with the help of our community. I am sure that this is a blessing for most residents in Palm Beach County. I, on the other hand, along with thousands of others are not ready for phase one. I still need to stay home due to my disease. The National Kidney Foundation suggests that transplant patients and dialysis patients continue to stay quarantined due to our weak immune systems. While this is commonsense, it is difficult to adhere to.
So, I continue to go to dialysis three times a week. This is my time to get out of the house. I arrive and wait outside until a nurse comes and takes my temperature. She asks me the same questions before I am allowed to enter the building, “Have you been outside of the country? Any coughing? Fever? Have you been around anyone who is sick?” And my responses are the same, “No, no, no, and no”. I am now alowed to enter the building, well, once I put on my mask. I walk through the lobby and into the main area. I step on the scale and then make my way to my dialysis chair. I learn that a patient died this week. He was a young man, much younger than me. I realize that his death has probably somehow touched every person in that room. I know for sure it hit me really hard. Could I be next? Will my dialysis chair be empty one day soon? All over Facebook The National Kidney Foundatiuon warns of the danger that the Corona Virus can have on your kidneys. It seems that every where I look my kidney disease is in my face, and not in a good way.
In spite of what is happening around me, I have the power to turn things around. With the help of a newly found friend I have been able to spread the word regarding my need for a donor. Finding a match will be difficult for me, as my body has built up antibodies since my previous transplant but, talking with Ned really helped propel the need to get my story out and with that I contacted a local reorter who had interviewed me years ago when I was nominated for the Dwyer Awards in Palm Beach County. Yesterday, I recieved a text from Kristen Chapman, of CBS12, telling me she was interested in my story and asked if I was available for an interview. two hours later we are sitting on the couch and I am telling her my story.
While all of this was happening, MJ Events and Promotions was creating shirts for family and friends to wear to spread the word. (If you are interested in helping me find a donor you can order a shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie at www.stacyneedsakidneystore.com)
Things began moving at a quick pace. Within hours I was interviewed live on FaceBook and then had a quick segment on the CBS12 News.
In the midst of this campaign to find a kidney donor my sister created a fundraiser to help with medical bills, pharmaceuticals, and other expenses that continue to add up. I am truly in awe of the outpour of support I have been receiving from family, friends and strangers. I am blessed that so many people believe in me and I am so thankful to all who have decided to board this train and take this ride by my side.
Sometimes I get down about my illness. I lose hope and get angry, but that, I have learned, is normal. And then suddenly these strangers that I mentioned, are writing comments of bravery and prayers. People I don’t even know!! And I’ll be honest, I click on their profile pic so that I can put a face to the beautiful words they write. I believe that people come into our lives for a reason even if that reason is not clear right away.
So, as Palm Beach continues to move through Phase One of this quarantine, I am ok with staying home and taking care of myself. I know that there is magic happening behind the scenes for me.