My Story: Daniel
LIVING WITH CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
It was 1993, my first year at University. Life had just begun, and I was ready to start discovering what it was all about. I was often very thirsty – but didn’t think much of it. One day, I noticed my ankle was swollen. It wasn’t painful, just a mild sprain perhaps, but I decided to go to the hospital to get it checked.
The diagnosis was a total shock: my kidneys were damaged. Being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease meant my life would depend on being hooked up to a machine every second day. Nothing could have prepared me for what felt like a life sentence. I didn’t know what it meant to be “normal” anymore.
Over the years, I have learned that my disease does not define me. The only time I feel like a kidney patient is during haemodialysis sessions. When I finish my treatment, I am just like everyone else: someone with dreams, hobbies and aspirations. I aim to live a fulfilling life, as any healthy person would. I try to be active both physically and mentally, to be on the move and go places.
More than anything, I value my independence and being able to realise my dreams, like travel and discovering other cultures. It’s true that I depend on a machine to survive, but this machine is available all over the world. If it’s there, I will find it! So far I’ve been to India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand… who knows where life will take me next? It’s my goal to find out what’s beyond the horizon!