Recently, I went on a weekend retreat for young adult kidney patients, funded by the BKPA. Going into this weekend, I was nervous. I only knew one other guy who would be there, along with a couple of the organisers. I wasn’t sure how I felt about spending an entire weekend in a youth hostel with a bunch of strangers. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Between the thirty or so of us who travelled from around the UK to come and be part of this weekend, we have a huge range of not only illness experiences, but also LIFE experiences. We are husbands, wives, parents, friends, sons and daughters. Some of us work or study, and some of us concentrate on our health.

We’re all from different backgrounds, but the one thing that connects us together is our need to know we’re not on our own. There are others who not only understand what we’re going through but are comfortable talking about it; even the really hard parts. The things we might not tell our healthy friends.

This experience has given me the push I needed to start writing again. Spending time with other people with kidney disease inspired me, and I wish I hadn’t taken so long to connect myself to a community like the one I found at Ravenstor.

I realised just how much it helps to speak to other people who understand what this is like. I also know there are bound to be other people out there who haven’t found this community yet. People who are sitting at home on their computer Googling “kidney disease support” or “young adult kidney patients”. I’m sorry I can’t teleport into your living room or go out for coffee together so we can talk in person about how shit it sometimes is being too young to be this sick, but I hope reading this blog helps you somehow anyway.

Our lovely Ravenstor group of young adult kidney patients
Our lovely Ravenstor group of young adult kidney patients