My beginnings started with my sister’s prayers. Being the only child she specifically asked for a baby sister. My mom kept trying and had several unfortunate miscarriages. However they never lost hope. The year after my mom lost her mom, my sister’s prayers were answered. On September 18, 1979 I was born out of grief and for her name’s sake I was named after my Grandma Isabel. My mom had a very difficult birth as she became paralyzed from the neck down from the epidural medication. She was able to deliver me naturally but I was born very sick. I was kept in the intensive care nursery heavily medicated. My parents felt like something was not right and demanded to have me discharged and I did eventually get better…
I will say I fought ever since… I fought being a sick prone child, teenage rebellion, teen pregnancy, premature babies, raising children during High School, College and work, kidney failure, valley fever, transplant failure, and everything in between. It always looked like I wasn’t going to make it or the odds were against me. However, I will say it has been the opposite.
At 15 years old I would meet my husband in a class called, “Opportunity” for troubled teens. It wasn’t until a year later that we would cross paths again and start hanging out more and eventually become a couple. Things happened quickly as our lives were already on the fast track. I became 17 and pregnant. After the birth of our first son we had a focus we never had before. We turned our lives around and finished High School. By the time we were 19 years old, we moved out on our own and created a life together. We were ambitious and from the start, we knew we wanted stability in our family. Coming from two divorced households we wanted different.
At the age of 20, we married and vowed to love each other for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health… Everything seemed to be on track, we were really doing well for ourselves. Good careers (I was an Executive Assistant at a brokerage & Daniel worked for the state), house, car, healthy kids, and in our early twenties. The things we thought life was all about.
However, life would throw us a curve ball when my kidneys failed. As I tried to make sense of this new life I was embarking, Maribel’s Kidney Story was created, which makes most of this blog. I couldn’t believe how long the wait time for an organ transplant was (especially for minority groups) and I knew I needed to do something. My advocacy started and as I continued to research and learn, I would start sharing. As time went on I began to dig deeper and share more about the struggles and hardships.We needed something beyond ourselves to help us through. For many years we tried in our own strength and it was never enough. We have already recommitted our faith when God showed us a miracle with the very premature birth of our 2nd son. That’s when my childhood Pastor came and prayed for us. After that day my husband wanted to go to that church. It was the best decision we made for our family. This was the beginnings of real healing in both our lives. It would be so vital for what life had in store for us. The lifesaving journey began…I realized this blog is more than my kidney story; it’s about living life against adversity, faith, family, love and continued redemption as I walk through chronic illness and the healing that is necessary for me to not just survive but thrive. I started to see the strong connection when your spirits are up the health follows, despite the obstacles from my health challenges; I’ve been able to rely on my faith and the fighting spirit that God gave me from the day I was born.
This gets me through each day and helps me focus on all the blessings that is present. Taking things as it come, day by day, battle by battle. As life goes on I will continue to leave my footprint on this world. Constantly speaking forth life in the midst of the shadow of death. This is what this blog is all about. My online memoir and a place to reach out to others. My past, present and future. Learn more about me as I share my fight for life through my words and photos.
This is my story…. Thank you for being a part of it…
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Photo Credit: N. Herche Photography