Surviving or Living

We often hear the phrase “survivor” when relating to someone who has lived through a horrible accident or medical condition. Having whipped cancer earlier in life, some people refer to me as a cancer survivor. However, I hope I am like Ruth Reynolds, a 53-year old dialysis patient who is more than surviving, she’s living.
While still a youngster, Ruth was diagnosed with a severe kidney disease. By the age of 21 she was on dialysis. Ruth has seen a sister lose her life to the disease by the age of 16. Her daughter lost her battle with the disease at age 21. And if that wasn’t enough, Ruth’s long time friend Buddy lost his life to a heart attack at age 50.
Ruth is considered to be the world’s longest living dialysis patient. To date she has been undergoing dialysis for 32 years, which is about 20 years longer than the average. As Ruth puts it in an article in the Bradenton Herald today, “A lot of people have asked, why are you still alive? I say, by the grace of God.”
As Ruth explains further, “When my daughter and Buddy passed away I got down. I couldn’t take it. But God said ‘Un-uh’ people need to hear your story. I want people to know you’ve got to have faith in yourself and the Lord.”
For Ruth, the battle to stay alive is more than surviving it’s living a life that will impact others. So, the next time you choose to survive instead of live, I hope you think about a 53 year old lady who goes through dialysis three times a week. I know I certainly will. To read the entire article about Ruth visit the Bradenton Herald’s website.


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