“Instead of being consumed by kidney disease and wallowing in my problems, I committed to being part of the solution,” said Christine Holmes, 43, of Overbrook Park, Pa.
Holmes is suffering from end-stage kidney failure and is currently on dialysis while waiting for a kidney transplant. She is one over 6,300 people in Pennsylvania who are waiting to receive a life-saving kidney.
“I’ve been on the list for three years, and I am patiently waiting for that phone call,” she said.
Kidney disease has dominated Holmes’ life, and that of her family. Her father, James Petter, died at 29 from kidney disease, as did her grandmother Ruby. But once Holmes learned she had kidney disease in 2000, she adopted a healthier lifestyle and joined the fight against kidney disease in Pennsylvania.
Now she is leading organizer of the Philadelphia Kidney Walk, and has participated in the event for the last four years, along with a team called Christine’s Rubies, which is dedicated in memory of her grandmother, Ruby. Christine’s Rubies is a group of local friends and family members, many of whom have lost a loved one to the disease or whose loved ones are directly affected by kidney disease. Holmes and the members of Christine’s Rubies are passionate about the cause.
“I walk first, to raise awareness of kidney disease,” she said. “Some kidney diseases, like mine, are hereditary, so while a cure may not be found for me, it’s important to educate and inform about kidney disease and the possibility of saving a life through organ donation.
“It’s fun, and very emotional event,” Holmes said. “It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together, with the common interest of fighting kidney disease.”