By Lucie Bellerive
(LONDON, ON) – Sherry Sloan has discovered the Phoenix which lay dormant within her. A personal battle with chronic kidney disease has her emerging from the ashes and transforming her life with a renewed strength and courage to help others with similar struggles.
Sloan discovered at the age of 19 that she was born with only one kidney. Three years ago she discovered that her kidney function was decreasing. Upon diagnosis of CKD a year ago she was advised to have a permanent catheter inserted and commence dialysis three times a week for three and a half hours each time.
If she did not follow these instructions she was told that she would not survive more than two weeks. Sloan was then asked if she knew any living donors.
Sloan’s quality of life has been greatly affected in many ways as she cannot travel, she has strict diet restrictions, extreme fatigue, and the pain and stress from the treatments. She has lost 115 pounds in order to receive a kidney transplant and is currently on a wait list that could take anywhere from one day to three or four years.
Sherry Sloan is a former resident of Windsor, Comber, and Tilbury and she has recently moved to London to be closer to her life saving treatments. There is also a need to be close to the hospital in London should a kidney become available, as there is only a few hours to wait to get a kidney transplant and there is a need to act quickly when dealing with live organs.
She waits in anticipation every time the phone rings or a helicopter flies overhead to the hospital with the possibility it may be a potential kidney that will save her life.
In the mean time, she offers encouraging words to other patients struggling during their treatments and journey. Sloan is looking to volunteer with the Kidney Association so she can help others going though the same struggles.
“What does someone do while going through a difficulty? Help others going through the same experience,” said Sloan. “Live each day to the fullest as it could be your last.”
This entire experience has given Sherry courage, strength, a more positive attitude, more compassion for others, and the realization that life is too short. Sloan wanted to do something empowering so she participated in the 5K Kidney Walk in September.
Another empowering moment for her was to take control of her situation by inserting her own needles. Since she did not have control over the diagnosis or the disease, but at least she had control over some of the treatment.
Sloan is an inspiration as she continues to battle the disease while helping others. She encourages others to Be A Donor.