Watching a loved one navigate any challenging time is complicated and even more difficult when everything seems out of your control, and you're navigating the unknown. That was the case for Linda and her family when they lost their nephew, son, brother, and friend, John, or as his aunt called him: Fred.
Fred was the bright star in their family's hearts and lives and made a big impact during his life. He touched many lives and lent a helping hand to anyone who needed it – even stopping to help someone find a warm meal. Linda and Fred were so close that they would meet all the time for lunch downtown. He was an up-and-coming DJ, and Linda says, "he was destined to touch the lives of many."
In the winter of 2014, Fred went to the hospital feeling very weak and unwell. His family was shocked to learn that Fred had stage 4 renal cancer. His health declined quickly, and before long, Fred passed away. With his final breaths, he asked his aunt Linda to get the word out to family or anyone who would listen about the urgency and priority of having checkups, seeing your doctor, and heeding the warnings your body is giving you.
Linda now attends KidneyMobile screenings and our annual Walk for Kidneys. She is encouraging others to learn more about their kidney health by finding a screening.
While Linda hopes no other family has to experience a tragedy like her family has, she believes Fred’s story can help family members trying to come to terms with the unknown. She says, "This had and still has a heavy-hearted impact for his family to carry on."
It’s important to remember you are not alone during this time. For more support and resources, head to the support page for more information on support groups, peer mentors, and much more.