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“My biggest joy is living my life the way that I want to live it, as fully as I can,” says Chris, a lifelong dancer living in Houston.
One would think that an active person like Chris would be the epitome of health. After all, she teaches the Alexander Technique (a study of movement) and operates a school for people who want to teach the technique to others. But after a routine visit with her general practitioner, Chris’s blood work revealed some issues. That’s when she was referred to a nephrologist.
“I was in shock at first to find out that my kidneys were so bad, and then also to find out that I was ill in another way,” says Chris. Along with kidney disease, Chris was also diagnosed with amyloidosis, a condition that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in a person’s organs. Two months later, she was receiving dialysis and chemotherapy treatments.
When Chris was in the hospital, her doctor explained to her that peritoneal dialysis (PD), a home dialysis treatment, may fit her active lifestyle better than in-center hemodialysis. Chris agreed that PD was just the treatment she needed to help get her back on her feet.
“When I started peritoneal dialysis, that’s when things really turned around for me, I think, because I started feeling a lot better and I had more time for my life,” says Chris. She was ready to get back to what she loved.
“I never thought that I wouldn’t work,” she says. “When I went on dialysis, I felt that that was going to help me continue to work. Because for me, teaching is really important and it helps me feel better.”
Building a support team—which includes her longtime partner and the DaVita® kidney care team in Houston—also got Chris over the countless obstacles she faced when dealing with her health.
“Everyone that I’ve ever met within a DaVita clinic has just impressed me so much with their care and interest in me.”
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