Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
ROSEMARY: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect? What motivates you to take part in the community?
@kamama94: I learned I had CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) when lab work showed a greater and more rapid drop in kidney function than is to be expected as part of normal aging. Follow-up imaging revealed a completely blocked and atrophied left kidney. I searched the internet and found the Mayo Clinic Connect website where wonderful support groups of others who have chronic kidney disease exchange information about their own experiences and offer one another encouragement.
ROSEMARY: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@kamama94: The willingness of others to share is reassuring.
ROSEMARY: What groups do you participate in?
ROSEMARY: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Connect.
@kamama94: Meeting others with CKD inspired me to write a recipe book for CKD patients who are not yet on dialysis. One of my happiest moments was when I was allowed to share some of those kidney-friendly recipes and nutritional facts with other members, many of whom said they found the collection quite helpful.
I'm currently working on a new collection of recipes calling for foods that CKD patients once were told to avoid. With recent changes in growing, producing, and manufacturing, many of these now can be added to a renal diet in small amounts.
ROSEMARY: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@kamama94: The friendliness, the lack of conflict, the give-and-take of information – qualities that are rare on many other online chat groups. But courtesy, lack of judgment and acceptance of others is the norm in the Mayo Clinic Connect groups and discussions.
ROSEMARY: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@kamama94: Being able to share my research with others is a plus. Paying it forward is important to me, and so is being able to receive what others have to offer. Also, a sense of humor and lots of laughter are absolutely vital.
ROSEMARY: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@kamama94: I enjoy learning many new things related both to my current medical concerns and to my former career as a nurse, and this includes nutrition and cooking, especially those dishes based on my Cherokee, Powhatan, and Irish heritage. I also have a second career as a published novelist.
ROSEMARY: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto, personal mantra?
@kamama94: Pay it forward. What you give away can come back to you tenfold.
ROSEMARY: What food can you simply not resist?
@kamama94: Chocolate is a no-no, or at least a “seldom-seldom,” for most people with CKD. Because I have no sense of moderation when it comes to chocolate, I don’t allow it in my house!
ROSEMARY: Puppies or kittens?
@kamama94: Both, but I adore my service dog Buckey, a rescued black “labra-hound,” who alerts me to wacky blood sugars and incipient respiratory problems.