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Bibi’s Story

The financial impact of kidney disease has been severe to me. I can’t even begin to say how bad it’s been.

Bibi’s warm smile and caring nature masks the stress and anxiety that is a regular part of her life. 

The last five years have been anything but kind. At age 50, Bibi never would have guessed the many twists and turns her life would take. When she learned she had kidney disease nearly eight years ago, she could never have predicted the impact physically, emotionally and financially on herself and her son. 

“The financial impact of kidney disease has been severe to me,” said Bibi. “I can’t even begin to say how bad it’s been.” 

As a diabetic, Bibi understood the risk of kidney disease. Afterall, both an uncle and her father were on dialysis. Sadly, her dad passed away from complications of the disease 10 years ago. Her own diagnosis came after surgery for a detached retina. Four years later she began in-centre dialysis in the same unit where she once visited with her father. 

Initially, Bibi was able to balance work, at the office where she had been employed and her dialysis treatments. But complications from the disease began to take a toll on her body, leaving her with limited mobility and unable to work. 

Finding a suitable home that is both accessible and affordable continues to be a challenge, but Bibi’s not giving up. The bond between Bibi and her son is evident. She credits him with being an amazing caregiver, a role that no 21-year-old expects to take on.  It’s that special bond that keeps Bibi going. 

Bibi accessed support from the Kidney Foundation’s short-term financial assistance program during a particularly tough time last year. According to Bibi, it was “a boost” that she’s truly thankful for. But Bibi is quick to stress that more needs to be done. “Greater awareness is needed, people need to know there are people struggling like me with kidney disease… they’re struggling hard” she added.  

That’s why Bibi has chosen to share her story in hopes that the public and our elected officials will have a better understanding and make the necessary changes so that a diagnosis of kidney disease doesn’t also mean financial crisis. 

 “I was always a very strong independent woman. I always did for myself and now I can’t do for myself, I have to depend on others and I don’t like it.” Recognizing that sometimes support is needed, isn’t always easy. Bibi is comforted knowing that the Kidney Foundation is there to help, “that’s where my help is.”