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Friday, July 5, 2013

Paying It Forward Using Technology

I was honored to be invited by a telecommunications company to be one of the speakers last night for their #PayITfwd initiative in front of an audience of bloggers and social good advocates.

During that event I told a story of how technology helped me with my condition and how I am paying it forward to others like me using technology as well specifically social media.

When I was diagnosed about 10 years ago, I got really depressed. Acceptance of the diagnosis was hard. I had so many fears. I feared my wife who was then my girlfriend would leave me. I fear the symptoms that my mother experienced before will come and also do their damage on me. Frequent cramps, hematuria, high blood pressure, I hate them all. But with the passage of time, I stumbled into a support group of PKD patients as well as a blog by Valen Cover Keefer. I was amazed to see fellow patients who have gone through so much pain and suffering remain to be positive. "PKD Will Not Beat Me", Valen's blog says it all. In short, I was inspired by their positivity. And from then on, I said to myself, life must go on. My blog, this blog "Even with PKD Life Goes On" was a product of that resolve.

Being lucky to have some medical knowledge, I vowed to help educate others regarding their kidney disease with the help of my blog.

When I finally reached end stage kidney disease, social media again provided me with a lift. My blogger friends and social media friends cheered me up with their messages of support and likes. My fundraising efforts also got a needed boost with the help of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My friends made be a beneficiary in an event connected to social media. I consider myself really lucky to have technology as a friend.

And now I am paying it forward. Aside from staying positive posting pictures and updates of my condition, I am planning to establish an online community of Philippine Kidney Patients and Philippine Polycystic Kidney Disease patients where members can express their feelings, ask questions, learn from each other's experiences and lend a listening ear or a helping hand.

I am inviting Filipino kidney disease patients and/or their family members who are their sources of strength and support, join in either of these two communities where you belong:

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