Hi, My name is
Krista Kosbab. I am 16 years old and currently a sophomore at Cathedral High
School in St. Cloud, MN. Like most 16 year olds, getting my drivers license is
the biggest deal right now. Having the freedom to go anywhere without having to
ask your parents for a ride! "Now along with this freedom comes
responsibility"....something I'm sure anyone my age has heard what seems to be
one million times. However, for me along with many other teens comes another
responsibility when away from home....remembering to take medication without a
parent or somone to remind us! That can't be too hard, can it? Well, as anyone
who takes medicine as often as I do would say, having a routine of taking pills
every three hours is no easy task!
This constant routine is necessary because when I was 9 months old, I was diagnosed with Cystinosis, causing my kidneys not to function properly. After many trips to the doctor and many more tests, I was put on a series of meds to stabilize my health. Although my kidneys have not been completely normal my entire life, I have learned to deal with the insane amounts of medicine and numerous doctor visits. However, now as I enter my final years of high school and look ahead to my future, I am faced with a new obstacle I had hoped I wouldn't have to come in contact with for another five years....a kidney transplant. My kidneys are slowly losing all function, making the fact that a kidney transplant will be necessary in the next 1-2 years very real. When I was first told about this by my long time doctor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, I was shocked. I could not believe something like this was happening to me. I wanted to pretend it was a dream and that I would wake up and be back to normal. "Why me"? was the question constantly running through my mind. Now, months later, I have thought about what this will mean in my life, how it will change me. the first question I had was, where will this new kidney come from? The answer was my mom. She has been tested and shown to be a match. Knowing this has given me so much strength and comfort over the months, knowing that she will be with me the entire time. My second concern was that I would not be able to dance anymore. Dancing is a tremendous part of my life and because it can be so vigorous and demanding both emotionally and physically I was unsure how this would be looked upon after the transplant. My doctors were soon to reassure me once again that yes, I can still dance! Having these two thoughts put to ease, a third concern. My friends, what will they think? What will they do? I knew I had good friends, but these questions still crossed my mind. I guess I was wrong tho, because not only do I have good friends, I have amazing friends! They have been by my side, comforting me, caring, and wanting to be involved as much as they could. Without their support I would not be where I am today.
Now I ask myself, where exactly is that? Well, I would have to say ready. As simple a word that may be, it perfectly describes everything. I am ready for a transplant. I am ready to be as healthy as possible. But most of all, I am ready to face any obstacle thrown at me. I know that with my very loving and supporting family, friends, and God by my side I have nothing to be afraid of, only things to look at as one more "bump" in this road of life, and I will not be stopped by a bump! I want to leave you with this quote by Abraham Lincoln, "the best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time". So this is my advice to you, live each and every day you are given as if it is your last, because you never know what "bumps", big or small, may be coming your way in life and you must be ready to face them. You can't change the past, but you have the power to shape your future any way you choose, so take control and live life to the limits!
Krista Kosbab's drawing was
selected for the cover of the Kidney Fund Calendar 2003. We will keep you
posted and let you know the release date of the calendar.
Here is a link to Krista's trip to Washington D.C. and pictures of her receiving her award.
Click Here to read.