Looking back, all these were just a blurry dream,
something that I could only hope for.
Human life has its rhythms. There are ups and downs, an indicator that we are indeed living beings. In most cases, we become accustomed to our own rhythms of life and we tend to get comfortable with what is at hand. But as always, the unexpected happens that would change our lives in the most drastic ways. We are shaken and left with either to learn from things, move on and live; or to worry, hold back and give up. We all have those moments. My moment happened when I was really young.
At 14 years old, I was already diagnosed with a critical condition. I have a Chronic Kidney Disease, an end-stage renal failure. The news shocked my entire family because there were no serious indicators or warnings that would lead my parents to a close conclusion with what I have. Although during my elementary years I had recurrent urinary tract infection and had gone to visit doctors a couple of times, but these weren’t something that would lead to this severe circumstance.
My doctors advised me to stop attending classes and that I should just focus on my dialysis treatments. I agreed. I had no other choice anyway. After a year, I told my parents that I wanted to go back to school. They agreed and tried all means to pave my way but it did not come easy for me. I needed to do frequent adjustments with the class activities that I would miss. Apart from fact that I was already delayed with all other activities, the symptoms of my condition would often cause me my inconvenience. So my family and I decided that I should continue my studies under the homeschool program. It took a lot of prayers and convincing at the end of my school that I would be offered the home school program since it wasn’t available in many institutions then. After 2 years, I graduated from high school.
Graduating from high school with the given limitations and conditions was already a grand blessing that I would always be thankful for. But my life and my dreams did not end there because yet again, my desire to be in school was still greater than anything in my life that time. I was so determined to do what it takes to take my college degree. But another problem poses another threat. There were no universities who offered home school programs. I needed to enroll to a regular school and attend the classes in order to graduate.
We knew that college would be a nightmare for me because of my treatments. And my parents had been financially drained because of all my medication expenses. Then an option was presented to us— a kidney transplant. The surgery wouldn’t be easy both financially and physically but it is the only plausible option we could find to make things better for all of us.
When everything was decided, we started the search for a donor. Finding a donor is the most challenging stage for those who are contemplating on a kidney transplant. But I am favored because the Lord provided the perfect donor match. My uncle, who is my father’s brother, is Heaven’s gift for me to live this second life because he willingly and gladly offered his other kidney to me.
In June 12, 2007, I finally had my surgery and I was isolated for a year to prevent further infection and rejection since I was on a high dose of immunosuppressant drugs. Being isolated for a year was never a burden to me. My surgery was successful and that was all that mattered.
Being in college and finishing my degree was all I ever dreamed of especially after I got my condition. I knew I was meant to reach my dreams. With God, nothing is too difficult for a dreamer.
After a year of isolation, I finally enrolled at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) and took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree wasn’t my first choice because at that time I was leaning on fields related to communications, education and liberal arts but my grandmother led me into choosing this career. I did not agree at first but learned to love it along the way.
I enjoyed my college years since I did not have to undergo difficult treatments unlike before I had my transplant. I finally had the chance again to be a regular normal student. I aced my classes, had wonderful friends and met the man I am about to spend the rest of my life with.
Life started to get better and it is getting better everyday.
I finally graduated with my degree in nursing in 2012. The feeling was surreal. My heart was overwhelmed when I held my certificate of recognition. My parents were in tears as well as my grandmother. And though my only dream was to graduate in college, wonderful things did not quit coming. In 2013, my boyfriend and I both passed the nursing licensure exam. It was such an overwhelming moment that filled all our hearts with joy.
Looking back, all these were just a blurry dream, something that I could only hope for. But the Lord is faithful. He made all things beautiful in His perfect time.
I have been through a lot in my life and I am glad I did not quit. You see, these wouldn’t have been possible if I stopped dreaming and if I did not take the challenges positively. If I chose to loathe life, worry and give up, I wouldn’t have achieved all my dreams.
Our life’s rhythm may have been interrupted and disturbed with unexpected life events, but if we choose to look at the bright side of life and choose to believe, hope and trust God, and if we place all our plans and dreams on Him, He will lead us through.
Yvonny Mahinay Baron