It was October 2008 when Cecilia Mikolajczak, associate director of a non-profit Christian ministry, took herself to the hospital. She didn’t know what to expect—she just knew she wasn’t feeling well. Within hours, she was being admitted and told that she’d have to start dialysis immediately. Her kidneys had failed. There she was, someone accustomed to keeping a busy schedule with extensive travel, suddenly faced with figuring out how dialysis would fit into her life and around a job that she loved.
In the hospital, she took advantage of being surrounded by doctors and nurses to learn as much as she could about dialysis and her treatment choices. She started on in-center hemodialysis then switched to peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home because the flexible schedule fit better with work and even allowed her to travel.
Cecilia’s colleagues, including the CEO, were so supportive throughout her transition to dialysis—often sending her notes of encouragement. With a flexible work schedule and strong support system, she never doubted that she’d be able to keep her job of 12 years.
"I enjoy what I do, and keeping my health insurance was important to me," says Cecilia. "I don’t see myself leaving [my job] anytime in the near future. I feel very healthy and very blessed."
Cecilia’s story continues to be one of inspiration and triumph. Two years after beginning PD, she received the best news of all. A suitable donor was found and Cecilia received a successful kidney transplant. She continues to thrive in her job and remains thankful for the coworkers that supported her every step of the way.
For more information about working on dialysis, call 1-888-405-8915 or discover the benefits of staying on the job.
Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita® kitchen.Get the Cookbooks
Find a no-cost, in-person class near you.Find a Class
Call 1-800-424-6589 now to talk to one of our placement specialists.
Learn which DaVita service may best fit your lifestyle.Explore Options