There is not one word that could adequately describe how wonderful my dear husband Noah is and how much I love and appreciate him. When allowed 300 words by The American Kidney Fund to nominate Noah in my hope that he will receive their annual Caregiver of the Year Award, I found that challenging as well. Each year, the American Kidney Fund presents the Caregiver of the Year award to someone who goes “above and beyond” to provide care and support to a dialysis or kidney transplant patient. The person who is selected as the Caregiver of the Year will be honored at their annual gala, The Hope Affair, on October 29, 2013, at Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The Hope Affair is the event where they honor the people who inspire us in the fight against kidney disease.
Many of us are fortunate to have caregivers in our lives. I believe Noah is special because he willingly signed up to share his life with me knowing my past and what my future holds for me and now for us. Although I am not at a point in my kidney journey in which Noah has to take me to dialysis treatments, I believed it was important to honor Noah who committed early on that he would willingly do so. I want the world to be inspired by Noah’s dedication and commitment to making sure I enjoy the happiest life possible.
I want to share my 297-word submission, nominating Noah as Caregiver of the Year. I will find out by the end of August if he is selected.
I wonder if my 32-year-old husband, Noah, knew as an adorable young boy that he would grow up into an award-winning caregiver to his wife. I fell in love with sweet Noah six years ago. September will mark two years since we committed on a granite foundation in Yosemite National Park that we would love and care for each other the rest of our lives.
It takes courage to marry someone with my health history and future. I warned him that with all my body has endured, a year-long stay in the hospital when I was 18 and 19 years old, including: a bilateral nephrectomy, dialysis, more than 70 blood transfusions, and a kidney transplant, that dialysis and transplantation happening again in my future are almost certain. Thankfully Noah accepted the challenge.
My life is a medical roller-coaster ride. This year has been a bumpy ride and I am ready to hop off and enjoy some calmness on even ground. Noah has been extraordinary with his patience and tenacity to see me through and get me back on my feet.
He gives me something to fight for and hope for the future. I have seen more, lived more and learned more about life and myself by sharing it with Noah. We are an awesome team. My husband’s love gives hope to everyone that there are remarkable partners who will love us for who we are, kidneys or no kidneys.
I never had any fears in all my battles with kidney disease. Now my only fear is to be taken away from Noah. So I will continue to take the best care of myself, never give up and fight to the end to spend as many wonderful healthy days as I can with him on this beautiful journey.
Who is your Caregiver of the Year and how do they go above and beyond to provide care and support to you?