There are people out there who take their amazing life and complain about everything in it. One might wonder, with all that behind her how did she continue fighting?
“I’ve always remained mentally positive which is really key, I think, and the reason why I’m still alive,” she said. “When I was at the hospital I never thought about dying. I never asked about it. It was always just dealing with getting through that day and knowing that I had my parents there and their love. I think that if I mentally gave up my body would have followed through with it.”
Her parents were her support, her everything. Her first three months were spent at a medical center in Pennsylvania, where she is from. Because the staff really did not know what was going on with her, they didn’t know how to fix the problem.
“My parents did a lot of research and transferred me to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Maryland. I credit their dedication and their unconditional love to finding a facility that could deal with my many complex issues,” she said.
Once she was transferred to Johns Hopkins, everything slowly started to fall into place. It was a tough battle but she has made it out and is stronger than ever.
On August 13, Valen celebrated her 10-year anniversary of her kidney transplant surgery she received from her donor, Sally.
Since her first incident—mentally, emotionally and even physically—she hasn’t slowed down or stopped for one second.
She is an advocate and volunteer for many organizations including: the PKD Foundation and the University Kidney Research Organization (UKRO).
In 2004, shortly after her transplant, she learned about the PKD Foundation, which is the only organization that brings funds focused on PKD for research.
During her time in Pennsylvania, she started a local chapter, did fundraising and educational seminars. She currently has a blog through the foundation www.pkdwillnotbeatme.com
“I’m doing this positive blog to create an environment people can go to, to gain inspiration, talk about PKD, and share their stories,” she said.