While her friends worried about homework and finding a homecoming date, Amy Frackowiak’s sophomore mind was far more concerned about what her future would look like living with kidney disease.
When Amy was first diagnosed, few, if any, kidney transplant support groups existed. Amy and her family had no choice but to face their fears alone. Now, after two kidney transplants and years undergoing peritoneal dialysis, Amy has turned her plight into a position of empowerment.
The lack of support was a major reason why Amy first got into health care. In the beginning, her job as an administrator was to check on patients to see if they needed anything. Eventually, she started to share her own story with these people, and she could see the effect it had on them.
“A lot of patients have depression and anxiety,” Amy explains. “They worry about not being able to do anything post-transplant. I do my best to remind them that it’s okay to have ups and downs, but staying positive is the key to staying healthy.”
Amy has devoted her life to being a source of hope for her patients. She competes in the Transplant Games of America—in basketball, volleyball, shot put, and discus (in which she won a silver medal). She’s an avid volunteer for Life Gift. And she’ll soon be able to help her patients on an even deeper level as a nurse.
“It’s very rewarding to see people thrive after transplant… and their families thrive,” says Amy.
To see living proof of how powerful positivity can be, look for Amy at the Summer Transplant Games at the New Jersey Meadowlands.