By Taylor, age 15, Ontario
A best friend who has to deal with everyday drama and pain, the pain it causes her when she is pulled away from her friends and family and taken to the hospital for weeks at a time. In a room with only a few of her belongings, you can see it in her eyes, that she's literally crying on the inside to be the same as you and me.
One of my best friends has had this condition since she was born. She has to suffer day in and day out. Seeing your friend go through such pain is unbearable. Seeing the fear in her eyes makes you want to cry. Yes, she does put on a smile every day, but you can't escape the fear in her voice. She does regular stuff - she plays soccer in the summer, she laughs constantly, and she's always a joy to be around. She looks to me as a sister and I also look to her as a sister. She is such an amazing person. She is strong and always puts up a fight. She's a hero. This condition isn't bringing down her hopes and dreams - it's just making her stronger.
Although she can't do some of the regular teenage stuff, like sleeping out, she's always smiling. Every night she's hooked up to a dialysis machine for 12 hours and is stuck in her room for those 12 long hours. I asked her how it makes her feel, and she said, "I'm used to it. I have had to be on it for 6 months." Six long months of being stuck on this machine.
She just recently got put on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. It can take 4 months or 4 years. She has already been through14 years of this and they want to make her wait longer. If it does take up to 4 years she will still have to be on dialysis - 4 years of not sleeping out, 4 years of not being able to be as active as she is, 4 years of not being able to go swimming. If she has to wait 4 more years, she will be 18 ... eighteen years waiting for a kidney transplant. Is this what it has to come to? Taking a teenager away from the years she's supposed to enjoy the most - growing up, school activities, sleeping out, swimming, and a real life to enjoy the beautiful stuff in this world.
Even if it takes the next 4 years for her to get a new kidney, she knows I will always be here for her. She is my hero. She's being so strong and so happy. She's a lifelong friend. She's amazing, and anybody who knows her will say exactly what I have said.
I love her and I always will. May God and love be with her through this nightmare. You're my hero, Kassie.
Thanks, Taylor :)