Program participant Sonjia Gibson of Marin City, came to CAM’s Kidney Community Education seeking education to help her help her husband, Phillip. A former journeyman carpenter, Phillip’s kidneys failed due to Type 2 Diabetes. In spite of her own serious health and mobility challenges, Sonjia has been a steadfast supporter of her husband’s quest for better health.
In her own words, “How best can I assist him? What signs do I look for? What are my options?” When I volunteer to work with a participant, I look at a number of factors. The first is where are the roadblocks? What’s stopping the process.? Sometimes the hardest step is something as seemingly simple as taking a lab work order to a laboratory! Have you ever met anyone who likes a blood draw? I haven’t either! But without it, there is no way for the transplant center to proceed. It’s a little like dominos, each action step triggers another toward your goal.
Since our meeting, Sonjia has been successful in bringing her husband to UCSF Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Center where she arrived with a number of questions she had prepared. Sonjia represents the best of what an empowered program participant can achieve. And now that they have taken that first steps, the pre-transplant coordinators will pick up the reins. We at KCE wish Sonjia and her family all the best.
–Shar Carlyle, Director, Kidney Community Education Program