In 1996, Beth was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes cysts to grow inside the kidneys. Over time, this genetic disorder affects the organs’ function, causes chronic kidney disease and leads to kidney failure. Beth’s evolving response to living with PKD has shaped the course of her life. She has written a book about this experience and here shares a few thoughts with our community.

Beth lives with polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

A Shifting Perspective

I am a physical therapist who has cared for dialysis patients who presented to be very weak and usually were very sick. I did not want to live like that.

I learned it does not have to be like that for me. Finally deciding to do hemodialysis due to chronic kidney disease and learning I could [live] life with good energy, feeling well, has made a huge difference in my life. It has allowed me to have more quality time with my family and friends, and [to] be here to inspire others.

Sharing the Story, Lending Advice

I have written a book [titled] Never Say Never about my experience of saying I would never live on [dialysis] machines to [my] transition of doing hemodialysis and living with joy.

My greatest source of courage is faith and a choice to live in joy regardless of how it looks on the outside or how it feels on the inside. Also, my son has always been there for me and has been one of my teachers in life.

My advice if you feel vulnerable is [to] trust your intuition. Embrace support from family and friends because you do not have to stand alone. Gaining knowledge and educating oneself can help you feel like you have more power and control over your situation and life circumstances.

A journey starts with one step at a time.

Beth B.
Concord, NC
Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 1996

If you received a difficult diagnosis and think differently about it now than you did at first, consider joining and sharing your story.