Audrey’s Story – creating support for chronic kidney disease among peers


[Ontario Renal Network] When I first got the news that my kidneys were not going to be working and doing the job that they’ve always done so well for me it came as a shock. A real shock. I needed to figure out culturally how I’m going to sit with that. My name is Audrey and I’m from Saugeen but I live here in Nogojiwanong it’s the Peterborough area. I’m the coordinator of the chronic kidney disease peer support group on complications of diabetes and in that my responsibility is to pass on the knowledge, the experience what I have gained from having had thirty years plus of diabetes and then ending up as a transplant recipient. [After delaing with diabetes for over 30 years, Audrey was diagnosed with kidney disease.] [She underwent dialysis treatments for a year before a kidney became available for transplant.] I finally came to terms with it this way. every little aspect of creation is our relations I thought well if thats really true and thats what I believe than sharing is also part of our culture. And if that’s true then somebody else’s kidney fits with my kidney and if I can give something to someone than that fits within too, as a spiritual exchange. When you’re sick with chronic kidney disease some days can be very, very difficult and it’s hard to think of the beauty but to counter balance that it’s necissary. Use your shakers, use your drums, rely on our teachings the eagle wings are our closest relitive to creator. What happens with eagle wings is they clean off any negativity and they clean up the new kidney that I recieved so theres nothing left over that I’m carrying because of that kidney without connection to the spirit it’s … you’re just struggling alone all by yourself and thats really tough. [In 2014, Audrey started a kidney disease peer support group in her home town of Peterborough, Ontario] [They meet once a month to discuss their challenges and experience with kidney disease.] The reason why I started this group was to be able to provide a place where we can sit and be together and enjoy some laughter and some ceremony and some information, education from the professionals that come and help us. I needed to be with other people who were in the same circumstances and if I could give them something they were giving me something back. Theres such a reward in just gathering together and yes, it is work but its good work. And it’s work for the community so that we can live a better life. Life is intended to be joyful. To be in good spirits with people. Thats our name! Good human beings. Anishnaabe Some days you’re going to go, “You know what? This is so lonesome.” But it doesn’t matter. Keep on going. Keep on going. [Ontario Renal Network]
[Cancer Care Ontario Trillium Logo]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *