Happy Wednesday, everyone! Not only are we half way through the work week, but today I’m starting a weekly feature on the blog called Writing Wednesday. Each Wednesday (hopefully) I’ll be letting you in on the latest things dealing with my writing as well as other works in progress. This week, we’re talking about the man behind the novel.
In my novel, Sliding into Love, the main characters, Emma Murphy and Bradley Carter, both suffer from renal failure and receive dialysis in order to keep their kidneys functioning. Many authors are taught to write what they know, and that’s exactly what I did. With Sliding into Love, not only did I do a ton of research, but I also witnessed it.
On March 9, 2011, my dad was diagnosed with renal failure. His kidneys were functioning at less than 5%; it was a miracle that he even went to the hospital, because, at that point, he wasn’t he even feeling sick when he decided to go. Being a daddy’s girl, his diagnosis hit me hard.
Like the trooper she is, my mom was by his side 24/7 in the hospital. The only time she left his side was to take showers, and that’s only when they’d roll him out of the room to get his treatment. As a young, single woman, I never gave any thought to wedding vows. But in this moment, I now realize how important vows are, especially when you vow to love someone through sickness and in health. My parents have been married for 38 years, and their marriage is still blossoming as if they were newlyweds.
Fast forward to 4 years later, my dad is doing exceptionally well on dialysis, his blood pressure is more manageable, and he gets comments from people all the time about how well he looks. When he first got sick, I’m not going to lie, I was terrified of him. Not in a sense of scared of him, but scared for him. I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t want him to feel useless. And I didn’t want to lose him. While I do still worry about my father and his health, I proudly tell people that my father does have renal failure, but he isn’t sick. Yes, he does have to go to dialysis three times a week, but he doesn’t let that define him.
All of this leads me to my overall reason for this post, and believe it or not, it goes deeper than my upcoming novel.
After my father’s diagnosis, I made a vow to myself that I’d always bring awareness to this illness. In March, I celebrate National Kidney Awareness month by wearing my green, sharing facts about kidneys, and throwing my dad a kidney party. I also acknowledge National Recognition Week for Dialysis Technicians. I even took the “I did the Math” pledge where I vowed to add healthy things into my daily lifestyle and subtract unhealthy things. Although these things seemed big, I wanted to something bigger. Something that would bring awareness to renal failure, as well as help people that are suffering from this illness.
All of this being said, with the help of kidneynation.org and their fund the fight against kidney disease, I have vowed to join Kidney Nation and start a fundraiser. The fundraiser will be in honor of my father, and my goal is to raise $2000 by December 23, 2016, my father’s next birthday. The proceeds will help AKF (American Kidney Fund) provide financial assistance to dialysis patients. And even if I don’t reach my goal, at least I’ll know I tried my best, and I’ll keep bringing awareness to renal failure.
To find out more information about my fundraiser, and what you can do to help these dialysis patients, please visit this link.