More than just a book of the author's life story dealing with chronic kidney disease (CKD), this is an inspiring message of challenge and hope for patients dealing with this deadly disease by a motivational speaker who has walked her own talk and shares her life saving empowering message of survival through proactive taking charge of life.
I found this book inspiring from the very first chapter, with her very positive message of taking action. "Empowering" is the right word to describe this author's message, encouraging everyone to take control of their life even as they face this medical challenge. Risa recommends a mantra of saying out loud "all in now!" upon awakening each morning, a way of engaging the full body in living each day to the fullest, one of being totally in control. She makes it easy to review the action based messages of each chapter with a list of "life changing wisdom tips" at the end of each chapter, offering an outline and reaffirmation for that reading.
Throughout the book we get clear explanations of all the foundational elements of understanding kidney function, CKD, dialysis (with the comparison of the pros and cons for each type of dialysis) and her strongest recommendation, opting for a living donor kidney transplant. Building off facts about the dire side effects of long-term dialysis treatment she makes the case for ignoring the often heard early advice of "you're not sick enough yet" by many a doctor, instead taking early alternative action of getting fully educated about the disease and especially the option of a living kidney donation for transplant. To that end a significant element of this book offers a proven process of finding that living donor, by becoming what she calls a "Donor Magnet" following a "PEBO" or "Proactively Empowering Best Outcomes" process, a process based on education and action.
Going beyond facts, data and a personal story, her message is developed into goal setting and practical action planning with focus on being "proactive" in all things. To support this action and planning process the book includes forms, charts and even scripts as an addendum to the many chapters, followed by a full index. Along with her personal life story which is integrated throughout, there is a dedicated section of both recipient and donor stories that add to this inspirational reading, each sharing their own personal success and passion for life through living organ donation and transplant, using this process.
While the author's focus is on CKD, the message of this book would be of great value to others in its broader recommendations of taking early control, overcoming procrastination with education that is fact based, and especially finding a doctor that you can "respect, trust and connect with." Her words: "proactive diligence" offer a great summary phrase for the overall message. To put it in other words, a summary of this excellent book would be "to avoid dialysis by acting long before you get that sick, proactively creating your own destiny with education, belief, a plan and action!" Moved in reading her book, I found myself wanting to hear this author in person as the motivational speaker described in her bio.
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